It was completely silent in our living room, but I still couldn’t even hear my husband’s voice when he was talking to me. My mind was loud. Noise. Messages. Images. Netflix. Social Media. Ideas. News. Information. INFORMATION. I N F O R M A T I O N! Stifling all other voices.
It’s not hard to know that we are a distracted culture. We have ideas, messages, and information circling us and invisibly suffocating us. Drowning us. We come up for just enough air to survive. We think to clear our minds all we need is to put down our phones for a minute, maybe go for a walk, maybe exercise for an hour or so. While these things are good, they are merely small gasps of air… just enough to keep us afloat before the noise continues pulling us back in.
Do you feel that too? Stay with me.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Just as I have a hard time hearing my husband even when he’s standing in the same room with me, my God’s voice also often fades to the background. I allow hundreds of other voices into my mind and my heart. And then gradually… slowly… unknowingly… God’s voice is smothered. It’s blurred with the others. And am I even able to tell them apart anymore?
To “renew our minds” with God’s voice means we have to actually fill our minds with it. Am I filling my mind with God’s voice more than Netflix? Am I filling my mind with God’s voice more than Instagram images? More than pretty words that sound close enough to the Truth but not-the-actual-Truth? And am I reading about Him, thinking about Him, talking about Him in order to set Him apart from the world in my heart (1 Peter 3:15 (NIV))?
When we talk about fear and anxiety and distraction and short attention span and poor time management and overwhelm, I believe most of it is the result of the “noise” we’re endlessly surrounded and consumed by. Putting God’s voice above the others in our lives is a discipline our hearts need so that we don’t succumb to the messages of our culture over His voice. By doing this we can breathe in deep and let our lungs be filled with air that will sustain us.