I understand frenetic activity. Some of my days are a bit like that and I really don't enjoy those days. I find I need moments of quiet in the midst of a busy and noisy world that shouts at me to distract me.
Daniel Goleman explains how we are losing some essential cognitive skills because of our tech crazy world. Some of the 'top-down' activities of our brains like self-awareness, reflection, deliberating and planning are essential to living our lives successfully. We are overloading ourattention with constant participation in all things digital. Goleman says, "It's not just that we've developed habits of attention that make us less effective, but that the weight of messages leaves us too little time simply to reflect on what they all mean."
So, I want to pick up on that word "reflection" from a Christian perspective. I think some of us are just too busy with a lot of nonsense. The part of our brain that reflects is slowly losing that ability. We don't know how to stop. Be quiet. Listen. Reflect. Think deeply. Hear God. These are the sounds of silence that are being drowned out by our digital distractions.
So here are some suggestions to stop and listen for a while to the sounds of silence:
- Be disciplined at finding time in your day for God: I am not sure what works for you. I know that for me early mornings are the best. Before my mind gets cluttered with other things I go to the Word and read it and then spend some time in prayer and quiet before my day starts. I find this the best way to start my day. But I also like to find other moments in the day where I deliberately stop and listen.
- Find time to reflect so that you can make good decisions: Sometimes we make decisions on the run. We don't think through the implications of our decisions. I think this is what Goleman is trying to get at. Yes, we can scroll through all the information coming at us, but we don't have time to reflect. Find time in your day to reflect on those emails, those articles, those proposals coming at you so that you can make wise decisions.
- Find time for in your day for your own heart: We are not as self aware as we were in days gone by. Find a slot in your day where you can go for a walk, sit quietly and drink a coffee. Write in your journal. Reflect on yourself a bit and how you are doing. No, I don't think that is selfishindulgence rather, it is a deliberate attempt at guarding my heart to ensure I do the best I can for God.
- Find time in your day for those you love: We are so busy finding time for all our activities that we forget to spend time with those we love. How much time do you spend watching TV? Have you ever added up those hours? How much time do you spend in digital activity? I dare you to add up the hours one day. Now take those hours and invest them in those you love. I mean really invest. Talk. Laugh. Pray. Read. Sit. Listen. I can guarantee you that at the end of your life you will reflect and say that your life was well spent.
And so my friend, for your own souls sake take some time to be quiet and reflect. There is a beautiful world out there. God made it and it is special. Take time today to listen to Him, enjoy His handiwork, reflect on your soul and invest time in those you love.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,