In the spirit of giving something up for 40 days, I am shooting for noise. As I type this I hear the washer machine, the music streaming from last.fm (David Crowder by the way) and my blackberry dinging with my iPhone telling me email has arrived. Focus on that for a second, I am alone in a hotel room but can hear nothing but noise. This isn’t bad necessarily, the music is uplifting to God, the emails are from loving family (not counting the work blackberry) and the dishes being done allow me nourishment. The problem is the noise never stops.
I have been making my symbolic journey to the desert and have not done a very good job. Go figure, Nick not being an amazing Christian! What I learned this morning was silence forces me to shut-up. I get scared to be quiet. For someone who thrives off interaction and learning, the sound of nothing and doing nothing scares the beejezers out of me! The past few days of work I drove to work with no radio. Nothing. What I caught myself doing was listening and praying more. The emptiness allowed God in. Saint Paul calls it dying to self and that sounds pretty accurate.
What can we do? One of my favorite songs is Switchfoot Adding to the Noise. Far too often we add to the noise of others. We force them into situations where they are obliged to talk or show you focus. We become the guy in the dorky windbreaker on TV, “Can you hear me now?” It is simply a pulse check to make sure someone saves you from being scared. So that is it, I am giving up noise. Many of you have emailed or pinged me wondering why I have been so quiet the past few weeks. That is really the reason. If you are used to the 20 minute response times on email you may need to readjust. I want to make sure when we talk next it is a meaningful exploration of grace.
So God, “Can You Talk to Me Now?”