I read the words years ago. They stuck!
"In contemporary society our Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry, and crowds. If he can keep us engaged in "muchness" and "manyness," he will rest satisfied."1
Noise -- I am grateful to be living in the Information Age, but it has its drawbacks. The digital army is relentless: cellphones, Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, text-messaging, the Internet, movies, video games, TV, iPods, advertisements (as many as 5000 offers a day2), and 24/7 news.
Hurry -- Rush to work, shuffle the kids to soccer, or football, or dance, or Taekwondo . . . then there is homework, a small group at church, volunteer efforts. It's all good stuff, but . . .
Crowds -- Rush hour traffic on I-95, sparse parking, jam-packed football stadiums, grocery store lines, crowded airports, doing time in the student pick-up line at school . . .
Noise, hurry, and crowds wear us out. More dangerously, they can make us deaf to the things of God. Paul wrote,"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Romans 12:2). But it is tough to have our minds renewed in the ways and words of Christ when the old noggin is hunkered down under an incessant barrage of noise, the seemingly unstoppable hurry of life, and the jostling, distracting, and irritating bustle of crowds.
That is why we must go to the beach . . . or the mountains . . . or the lake . . . or the back yard. We need quiet and solitude. We need space to dodge the noise, arrest the hurry, and escape the crowds. With new-found quiet, we can meditate on God's Word, gaze on His creation, revel in His majesty, and become reoriented to His purposes for our lives.
I wonder . . . How many solitary days did David tend to his sheep? No wonder he wrote, "The LORD is my Shepherd."3 How many lonely nights did he stare at the starlit expanse and ponder the grandeur of God? No wonder he wrote,"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place . . . . O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth."4
God often speaks in whispers, so your Adversary is banking on noise, hurry, and crowds to drown them out. Don't fall for the distractions. Relentlessly pursue quiet. Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.5
Question: Where do you go and/or what do you do to get away from the noise, hurry, and crowds? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
1 Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. 25th Anniversary Edition, page 15. 2 "Anywhere the Eye Can See, It’s Likely to See an Ad," New York Times, January 15, 2007. www.nytimes.com. accessed November 6, 2011. 3Psalm 23 4Psalm 85Colossians 3:15