If you're a psychologist, I invite you to diagnose me. I experience anxiety in response to loud and disorganized sounds. For example, in noisy restaurants with people, music, and hard floors, it triggers a headache. Surprisingly, I can listen to music that most people consider extremely disorganized and love it because it is organized to me. This is one of my quirks or a unique characteristic.
Due to my sensitivity to noise, I've noticed something about our culture. We no longer pay attention to noise. We are bombarded with notifications like bells, whistles, dings, rings, beeps, and more, but we don't acknowledge them. I've sat next to someone in a restaurant whose phone was ringing, and they seemed completely unaware of the sound.
As we have become desensitized to noise, we have grown comfortable and dependent on it. Unfortunately, this invasion of noise has affected our spiritual lives. Instead of spending time with God through meditation and prayer, we let the noise dictate our spiritual journey.
Recently, while preaching from my iPad, Siri, which I forgot to turn off, added a few words to my sermon. It was distracting, but it provided unexpected entertainment. Have you experienced something similar? Do you get distracted by text message notifications while reading the Bible on your phone? Or do you get enticed by social media notifications while trying to spend time in prayer?
I've heard that in some parts of the world, this phenomenon is observed in marriages too. The wife may be communicating profoundly important ideas to her husband, but he is preoccupied with ESPN, and her voice becomes nothing more than background noise in his head.
What if you separated yourself from the noise during your time with Jesus? What if you turned off your phone and fully immersed yourself in His presence? Is He important enough to try it?
Challenge: Would you be willing to try this over the coming Thanksgiving holidays? Could you commit to spending uninterrupted time with Jesus on 5 out of the next 10 days? It might require adjusting your schedule, but I promise you, our incredible Savior, the one who pursues us, is worth it.