Today's Thoughts: Noise and Stimuli
My house is a bit crazy right now. I have a house full of teenagers and the energy level is very high. The one thing that I have noticed the most about teenagers is their love for stimuli. Everything associated with them is loud and bright and moving very fast. They can text on their cell phone while emailing on facebook while changing the song on the ipod while sorting through a homework schedule and talk to me all at this same time. They are being prepared for a much different life as the world has definitely changed since I was in high school.
My teenage years were very different. Not only because we called the home phone number to talk to a friend but because there were no computers at all! How can you compare the changes that the computer has brought with roll down windows and rotary dial phones? Change has a whole new meaning in today's world.
But changes in the "things" are not my real concern for the next generation. I am concerned about the many things that compete for their attention. It is exaggerated in the life of a teenager but it affects us all. The world has become so loud in our ears (cell phones, ipods, ichat, music) and so bright in our eyes (facebook, internet videos, television, text messages). These things are not something a teenager will outgrow. This way of life will only increase with advancing technology. I am NOT against change or technology…I am against constant, continual noise. If we are not proactive in protecting our minds from the noise, we are going to miss out on the things that matter most: a personal, walking talking relationship with the Lord.
I came to know the Lord at 14 years old and heard Him from the first time I read the Bible. I learned quickly that if I was going to seek the Lord, my mind needed to learn to be quiet. I guess it is like developing a sixth sense. When you tone down your other senses, your awareness of God becomes more evident. It is like a blind person who depends more on their sense of hearing and a deaf person who depends more on their sense of sight. When everything is shaking and moving, it is more difficult to be in tune with your sixth sense of spirituality. If we do not develop ears to hear the Lord and eyes to see Him, we will miss out on the greatest relationship there is on this earth regardless of our age or the stage of life especially since spirituality is not a "sense" but it is a lifestyle.
The employee at the cell phone store told me that the text messaging decreases when your teenager graduates from high school and age brings changes that can lead to less noise. However, a lifestyle with the Lord starts by praying to have an eternal perspective. Moses prayed it best in Psalm 90:12, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Moses understood that we may live 70 to 80 years on this earth (Psalm 90:10) but eternity is forever. We need to spend our time and give our attention to what matters for eternity. The best questions to ask ourselves would be: Is the noise we are listening to today bearing eternal fruit? Are we making a difference here that counts someday up there? If not, let's pray to be in tune with His voice to follow His ways.
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