Sometimes when you first get to a restaurant for a meal it’s nice and quiet. It’s easy to talk to your friends. It’s relaxing. It’s peaceful. Then a few hours later you all of a sudden realize that you’ve been yelling at each other for the past hour, your voice is getting sore and you can hardly hear each other anymore.
You look up and notice it’s the same thing at every table around you. Dishes clang in the kitchen. Some music you can barely make out blares from the ether. Waiters quickly dodge each other. A tray full of drinks crashes to the floor. The kitchen door slams. A hungry mob has formed by the door, sipping drinks and complaining about the wait. The bottle of wine in front of you is empty.
All of a sudden it is so noisy you can hardly hear yourself speak…let alone anybody else.
Such is our life. We can remember quieter times. We started out whispering. But now all of a sudden our voices are feeling a bit tired. We’ve already been yelling for quite some time. And we can’t remember when the whispering ended and the yelling began.
Why? Just like in the restaurant, the background noise has incrementally crept up without us realizing it. And now we’re yelling.
I remember when I was a kid wanting to listen to the radio really loudly. I would crank up the volume and rock-out. My parents, recognizing immediately that the volume was too loud, would then make me turn it down.
So what did I do? I would wait a few minutes, of course, and then bump up the volume just a tiny bit. And when nobody noticed that, I would do it again a few minutes later. With a little patience, I was back to full rocking-out volume - at least for a little while.
The World does the same thing. It loves noise and preys on our fear of silence. It will slowly swallow us up. And if we don’t stay alert, we will happily let it.
Holy Week (and Lent in general) is the perfect time to hit the reset button on the noise. Reset your noise floor. Cultivate the silence. Sit in its classroom. Prepare ourselves to receive Christ at Easter.
“Silence presents both sides of the Christian challenge. Firstly, silence introduces us to ourselves - our faults, failings, flaws, defects, talents, abilities, and potential. And secondly, silence introduces us to God - greatness, fidelity, and perfection. It is these two discoveries together - self and God - that propose the Christian challenge. Seeing ourselves as we are, and God as He is, we are always challenged to change, to grow, and to become more like God.” - Matthew Kelly