Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lend Me Your Ear

I was out on a date this past weekend with my husband. We went to Outback Steakhouse for two reasons: my husband's love affair with all things beefy, and we had a gift card. You just can't argue with free. As we were sitting there waiting on our food to come, I was thinking about all of the sounds that were bombarding my ears. Televisions were playing ESPN, music was playing loudly, people were talking and laughing, and cell phones were ringing. And then I thought about what mealtime must have looked like one hundred years ago. The clink of silverware on china, polite conversation....hmmmm.....that's it. What a noisy, busy, overstimulating world we live in.

A favorite author of mine, Sue Monk Kidd, has invested considerable amounts of time reading contemplative literature and making regular monastic retreats. She speaks about the "monk" who lives within herself who "craves the depths of solitude and silence". I get that. My soul cries out for solitude and introspection and time for observation of all things commonplace and ordinary that, when carefully inspected, reveal the glory and magnificence of a creative God. However we live in a point in time that is punctuated by potentially unending, mind-numbing stimuli. Television, internet, ipods, cell phones, music piped in to every store and restaurant and now there are iphones that enable us to have all of these things in one handy, distracting little device. I find no fault with these wonderous technological advances, I just think that we have to work that much harder at practicing the discipline of solitude which is as essiential to the well-being of the soul as water is to the body. And so many people grab hold of these distractions as a way to avoid facing the emaciation of their hearts and souls. A steady stream of noise drowns out the cry within for something significant, something substantial, something.... missing.
Be sure you are making time to hear. You will find that there is a roar deep inside if you will just put the shell up to your ear.