Do You Have Too Much Noise in Your Life?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
15882419566 9cc63f742f k 1

Then Jesus began to speak, and He taught them saying:

Matthew 5:

Most people would be anxious to get to the meat of Jesus’ teaching, but let’s not skip too quickly over this introductory phrase, Jesus began to speak. Remember that the Bible begins with God speaking creation into existence. Oh, the power of words! Christians are people who see with their ears. The more closely we listen the more clearly we see.

Consider Green Bank, West Virginia. It sits within the strange place known as “The National Radio Quiet Zone.” Some of the most sensitive sound detecting instruments in the world are found there. People who live there lead quiet lives. They avoid honking, playing loud music and riding on noisy motorcycles because the main business in Green Bank, West Virginia, is listening for sounds and secrets that come from beyond the Milky Way. They listen to discover if we are alone. They listen to hear a voice.

Jesus would one day say to His audience,

But blessed are your ears, for they hear. Many prophets and righteous people longed to hear what you hear, but did not hear it. (Matt.13:16-7)

Because Jesus speaks, the poor hear good news, prisoners are set free, the eyes of the blind are opened, the lame walk, the deaf hear. Because Jesus speaks, the hungry are fed, the thirsty are satisfied, the demons take flight, the tombs are opened, and the dead come to life again. It is no small thing to say that Jesus began to speak.

Young Grayson Clamp was born without the nerve that connects his ear to his brain stem. But then Grayson was fitted with a device that allowed him to hear. When he heard his father’s voice for the first time, Grayson’s enormous eyes darted between mother and father. And his father’s first words were, “Grayson, Daddy loves you.” Of course, just because he heard the sound doesn’t mean he understood the meaning of the words. Meaning comes with practice and experience. Even so, for Grayson Clamp a vast new world had opened.

Don’t skip over these words, Jesus began to speak. It takes a lifetime to understand what Jesus means, but with practice and experience we find ourselves in a vast and incalculably glorious new world that explodes with life. So make yourself like a resident of Green Bank, West Virginia, a quiet person who listens to Jesus to hear the secrets of creation, to know that you are not alone, and to see the glory of God displayed in everyday life.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Where do there tend to be a lot of noisy distractions in your life? In what ways does this interfere with your ability to hear Jesus? What do you think it costs you to be so full of the world’s noise that you can’t hear Jesus calling?

PRAYER: Loving God, the world we live in is so interconnected. If a dog barks in Beijing, they hear it instantly in Boston. And yet the price we pay for hearing so much from so many is that we hear so little from you. The answer is not to go back, but rather to go forward with you in a new way. Teach us new habits of listening so that your Word doesn’t get lost in our world. Amen.


P.S. from Mark Roberts: Now that I’m focusing my full attention on my commentary on Ephesians, I’m delighted to hand the pen (well, the keyboard) to my friend, the Rev. Dr. Dave Peterson. He will provide biblically-based, open-hearted reflections under the editorial leadership of Marcus Goodyear. As a subscriber with you, I look forward to being guided by Dave as he helps us seek to live each day as a disciple of Jesus.


Dave Peterson is an ordained pastor who is the Director of Community Outreach for The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and Scholarly Advisor for the H. E. Butt Family Foundation. He is the author of Receiving and Giving, Unleashing the Bless Challenge in Your Life. Dave and his wife, Terri, have four adult children and four grandchildren. Send a note to Dave.

God at Work

Where is God? Does he inhabit only the sanctuaries and monasteries and seminaries of the earth? Or, is God with you in your cubicle, your classroom, your kitchen, your conference call? What about the carpool lane? And if God is there with you, what does that mean? Join us for the series, God at Work, where we explore what it means that God is not only at work in you, but also, quite literally, with you. It may be difficult to see the Kingdom of God through the deadlines and reports and meetings and evaluations and budgets, but be encouraged: he is there. Together, let’s find him in the ordinary places you work, and let’s consider how his presence makes a difference for good.

Featured image by Cindee Snider Re. Used with Permission. Source via Flickr.