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Can You Hear Me NOW?

Leslie Brown

I remember a car trip taken with my parents to Lubbock, Texas years ago. On the way, my dad stopped the car so I could get out and gather a boll of cotton from a cotton field on the flat, dusty plain. I lived in the Dallas Metropolitan area at the time. What struck me upon getting out the car, was utter and complete silence.

I just stood there for a moment and absorbed the enormity of the absence of sound. Awesome. Silence actually sounded strange and somehow deafening.

What a rare thing silence has become. Gone are the days of your choice of either the 5:00 or 10:00 news. We are now in a “looping” 24 hour news cycle. Some of you may even remember when the stations actually ended programming in the late evening, with either “snow” (static) appearing on the screen, or an American flag. One might have even been asked by the announcer, “It’s 12:00; do you know where your children are?”

How about going out for a quiet dinner? What was once a special treat, is now a more-often-than-not occurrence. According to The Weight of the Nation, restaurant diners consume 14% more while watching television, so a growing number of restaurants have extended the growing “umbilical cord” of media.
A study has shown a clear link between early childhood T.V. viewing and attention deficit disorder. Could it be we are even training a lack of attention and mindfulness? A provocative book written on the subject is called The Plug-in Drug.

Might it be, that dwindling church membership and evaporating spirituality exist due to the ever- increasing din of media and technology that drown out the “still small voice” of G-d in our day-to-day life? We go from morning T.V. shows, to a car with a radio, C.D. player or even a D.V.D. player placating kids in the back-seat, to work, back in the car, and then home to the 24 hour news cycle again. How can G-d get a word in edgewise? Could surrounding ourselves with all of this noise be the spiritual equivalent of poking our fingers in our ears while shouting, “La la la la!”?

When do we get a “quiet time” with Lord? I’m probably like you in that I thought that those who could “hear G-d” were of the home-schooling-co-op-buying-Jedediah-kid-naming variety.

Not through any act of bravado or martyrdom mind you, we are without T.V. at our house at the moment. Conversation has gone up, as well as listening. Listening not only to each other, but listening to God.

Let’s see what Scripture has to say on the subject. Psalm 139:18 b) When I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 95: 7c) Today, if you will hear His voice. I Kings 19:12 -and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. (that spoke to Elijah). Psalm 63:6 When I think of You as I lie on my bed, I meditate on You during the night watches.

Give it a go! Try to “wean” off of media. You will suffer no ill effects by not worshiping what has become the “American Idol”.

Listen to reason.

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