embalmed in noise

statue watchingThere’s been a lot of words flying around Twitter, Facebook and blogs recently. In my ‘humble’ opinion some people have spouted without thinking or take soundbites that sound good at the time but, when reflected upon, sound hollow, shallow or just plain empty.

It seems everyone wants to have their say, get their opinion out, let us know exactly what they are doing, where they are doing it, and who thy are doing it with. Sometimes i think there is a hint of a suspicion of bigging one self up by trying to impress. And … yes … i have also been guilty of this and probably will be again in the not too distant future.

There is so much noise around and so many people and ‘experts’ telling us what we must do, think, eat, wear, read, listen to. Many people telling us what brand is best, which author to look out for, which shops to boycott, which party to vote for. We are bombarded with images that allure us to believe we will be more efficient, more attractive, slimmer, be more popular with this one particular item. We are duped into thinking our lives are incomplete without the latest gadget, or car, or toy, or upgrade that becomes obsolete the minute it is released and leaves us incomplete again.

This whole outlook, which has crept into the church, is slowly stifling us. Noise, spoken and unspoken, grows around us un-noticed. The weeds of ‘what if’ and the thistles of ‘I deserve’ are sucking us dry of life. It’s as if we are being embalmed in noise!

Which is why I have been immensely challenged by the recent actions of my friend Jonny Baker recently who went offline and spent 8 days on a silent retreat.

Jonny has logged about his experience …. you can read the first one here …and then can just carry on reading his other posts ….  they are well worth the read and consideration … there is a fair bit of wise insight here

In one post Jonny quotes Desert Father Amononas, ‘I have shown you the power of silence, how thoroughly it heals and how fully pleasing it is  to God’

Our silence is pleasing to God ….. in fact our noise is too as there is no guilt trip here …  we already please God …. but maybe we need to consider and embrace more silence ….  recognising the still small voice of the Creator …. hearing the voice that resonates deep within …. chiming with that recognition that sparks life within …. bringing us back to the people we are created to be…..



2 thoughts on “embalmed in noise

  1. Hi Rob- I agree with the power of stillness and silence, and that sometimes out of that stillness words can be spoken with greater clarity and are appreciated more because of their rarity.
    I’m also conscious that in a context where spoken/written words have power it is important to have a voice- and in social media our presence is only noted by our words- but that doesn’t mean we should spout for the sake of spouting.
    I’m using my blog as a personal space and as a self-accountability thing as much as anything else, but if a few people find it and it helps…all well and good. If the exercise i’m going through helps me to become more proficient in how i communicate using social media, equally good…
    Interestingly Jonny didn’t just withdraw temporarily and then return- he reflected on it and then shared his reflections- the sharing of our experiences of God is key to community faith.

    BTW- used your high st experience from last week as part of a preach on unexpected outcomes last weekend- its not quite Paul and Silas in Philippi but people engaged with it!

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