Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Room Noise (Quieting the Audible Apparition)


Growing up for me, the television was part of everyday life. My parents still smile when they tell me of the TV comedian, popular during the period of my early childhood, who opened every show by waving a huge bear paw in front of the camera and, consequently, in front of my 18 month old eyes. Although I don’t remember it, the sight of the furry, nail clawed paw sent me running every time. Nonetheless, in spite of the humorous result of what was then modern entertainment, terrorizing one's first born was only the tip of the iceberg amongst the merits of television viewing. Frightening infants could not contend with the role of the TV as “room noise”.

Can you identify with the practice? Turn on the “tube”. Leave it on. Don’t watch - just allow it to provide a distraction in daily living. Who cares what’s on? The presence of the picture and the audible apparition of sound make easy the way of escape from needing to face a gnawing question or working on a relationship that would benefit from solitude, devoted time, and the absence of distractions.

“Noise”, in fact, takes many forms. Television, music, work, recreation, hobbies, substance abuse, and so on increase the volume. We run, we work, we read, we watch and we avoid the questions that seem to call to us from the silence. In fact, working and remaining busy, even too busy, sometimes appears simpler to deal with than living life. Thinking, feeling, facing our mortality, and living at peace with those around us – now that is the hard part. The noise is easy; it’s even a bit comforting. Ultimately however, we must dampen the hullabaloo and face our challenges.

“I like having a place to get away from the clamor, to experience Christ, and to gain a glimpse of His passion for us. I like the honesty and openness the most. Here, it seems OK to stare down disquieting questions and reject the pat answers that really can’t satisfy my questions anyway,” says one Christ follower in our village of Stone Mountain, GA. It’s important to yearn to be “real”. “No one asks me to “put on a mask” as if meeting with others is some sort of costume party. It’s OK to have flaws and I feel connected to something authentic.”

One may say, “Getting real answers – I like that. Turning down the volume, quieting the noise and addressing the silence, now that strikes an even fuller chord.” Maybe you agree? If so, you may find the Celebration of Discipline Chapter 4 Round – Up for week 25 worth the read. It’s part of the ongoing blog through Celebration of Discipline an a terrific example of the good that can come through cooperation of a global group of Christians endeavoring to hear God’s voice and follow Him by choosing to walk together a bit and love Christ as we go.

Take a peek. See what you think and I hope you gain insight into the fellowship of Christ and a God given motivation for being. Yet, even more than this, I hope you catch a glimpse of the One who is the “real star” of life’s drama. If you do, you may be closer to reality than you know. So, consider this an invitation to quiet the room noise, rest a while, and engage the queries that percolate up in your new found quiet.

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