Too Much Noise

There's a lot of noise in our lives, too much of it. 

The noise surrounding us, which can be deafening at times, is not merely a distraction (although it almost always serves us that way); it numbs us and keeps us caught in repeating patterns of scarcity, boredom, fear, and consumption. 

We say we know better, but we live as though we have no clue what is happening to us when we lose our ability to hear the Spirit whispering around us, urging us to wake up. 

Before we realize it, we have lost our sense of wonder.  We are no longer joyfully surprised by truth, beauty, and goodness.  

We hear only the fear-filled voices in the echo chambers we build.  We have tunnel vision for anything other than the six inches in front of our faces.  The world becomes dark and fearful, all because of the noise we let in.  

Author Kate Bowler wrote a beautiful prayer that I think speaks to this very idea: 
Put me to sleep. 
Steal another rib
and let me awake to all things 
astonishingly unnamed and unknown
by the world I made 
in affordable monthly installments.

I love how Bowler draws from the story in Genesis where God puts Adam (literally translated "son of red earth") to sleep, takes one of his ribs, and creates Eve (literally translated "full of life," or "mother of life"). 

No matter how hard some folks try to stretch theirs, this isn't a literal account by any stretch of the imagination. 

Bowler latches on to this as she uses it to delve deeper into the story itself and the meanings that are under the surface.  

Connection to the world at a deeper level costs us something of ourselves. We might need soul surgery to remove whatever is necessary to have open eyes and ears.  

We must be awakened to the mystery of wonder and goodness's beauty. We need to be surprised by the "unnamed and unknown" parts of a world we thought we knew and, in our illusion of familiarity with it, grew to view it in contempt or, worse, indifference. 

There is so much more on the other side of the noise.  

There is so much more.  

Listen intently, and quiet your mind.  The Spirit speaks underneath the cacophony we've created, and the message is clear and graceful. 

May we hear it and know that we are loved and known.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all,  now and forever. Amen.  


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