Noise vs Sound
Our church has asked us to fast this month. It can be from food but can be from something other than food like caffeine or tree climbing or rollerblades. Heather and I are fasting from food one day per week and meeting each night to pray about a couple of specific things. But as I thought about the real point of fasting I came to the decision to fast from internet from 5pm-on every night. To some of you this might sound stupid and easy. To others this might sound like suicide. For me, I have a feeling it may be a coming up to breathe for the first time in years.
Do you realize how immersed in information we are? If I'm away from my computer I'm using my iPhone to check twitter or news or I'm checking for updates to my favorite iPhone apps. Or email, IM, txt, voicemail. And if there's nothing new on any of those fronts I begin to search for something new and I don't stop until I find it.
I think I'm an addict. To informational stimulation. To noise. It doesn't even matter what the information is. I've become so accustomed to receiving informational stimulation that when it stops I begin to feel anxiety. Turn on the radio or the TV. Something. I think I'm afraid of silence.
I think deep down I may be afraid that when all noise stops there really will be silence. No sound of real substance originating from my own heart because I'm immature. No sound of my own creative or unique voice because I'm shallow. No sound of the voice of God because either (a) I don't really have a connection with Him apart from the noise or (b) He was never there to begin with.
That would kill me.
It's not worth the risk.
But there's an easy enough way to avoid it. Turn on the noise. Receive information. Check the latest scores or prices or gossip or news or fashions. Begin another pointless search for the perfect whatever that really won't matter to me after I get it. It's not about the acquisition. It's about the noise that the searching creates.
I'm addicted to noise and I don't think I'm the only one. But think about what we're trading. Real fulfillment for pointlessness. Rich living for fake conquest. The truth for tabloids. Sound for noise. And the longer we go like this the shallower we're becoming.
I think that's the point of fasting. It's a cutting off of the noise we make to reveal the sound that was and is and will always be there. The sound that never changes. Or at least the truth about whether it was ever there to begin with.
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