I remember a TV program that aired back when I was a kid called “The Christophers.” It always began with a basso profundo voice, proclaiming that “it is better to light a single candle, than to curse the darkness.”
I find myself, more often, cursing the chaos these days. It surrounds us from the minute we awaken, to the moment we close our weary eyes to rest. And it has “ramped up” in every sector of our lives, like a billion small children clamoring for our attention.
And that’s what’s happening, in essence. Recognizing the competition that now exists for our ears and eyes, every form of media has “pumped up the volume.” TV, radio, internet, print, billboard—even gas pumps screens—now assault our senses. The noise and confusion have become so pervasive, that even a moment of silence seems almost… awkward.
But my pastor makes an interesting point about silence, as well. How often, when confronted with silence, do we lunge for the TV “switcher,” and the comfort of cacophony? How much easier is it to drown out the conviction of that still, small voice in our hearts with the larger and louder noise of the world? How comfortable are we, when we’re alone with ourselves, and our thoughts? When was your last quiet time with God?
I’ll admit that peace and quiet are often idols for me. Truth is, as time goes by, I’m less and less able to deal with the busyness and confusion that is life in our culture today. I crave peace, not for a time of quiet reflection and prayer, but to run away from a world that seems more unfamiliar with each passing day. Part of that is due, admittedly, to my aging eyes and ears. And sometimes, these are unhealthy symptoms of withdrawal. But I’m encouraged to consider that my thirst for peace and quiet is a healthy sign, as well.
Before knowing Christ as Lord, I was incredibly content with the growing and swirling chaos of American life. This world fit me like a glove! But since becoming a Christian, the things of this world no longer hold such attraction; serving a God of peace, not confusion, has created in me a longing for the well-ordered life I’m sure awaits us in eternity.
As I mature, I realize that my quiet time alone with God is precious, and I must guard it zealously. For the peace He brings prepares me to step out each day into a noisy world I have no choice but to confront. For, living in this world are billions of people who do not know the peace that passes all understanding, and I have promised to participate in His great commission to reach them. There is no turning back.
And it is better to light a single candle of hope, then to be content with the darkness.
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