We have so muchnoise in our lives. Do you have a cell phone? Do you have email? Instagram?Snapchat? Facebook? Do you have a TV? Do you have more than one TV? In the age oftechnological advances and the rise of social media, we are engaged with evenmore noise and distractions in our life. Why are we so attracted to noise? Why are we so repelled by the idea ofsilence? What is it about silence that is so difficult? How much noise do Ivoluntarily subject myself to? I read about aguy who records nature sounds for film and television.
He said that in 1968, inorder to get one hour of undisturbed natural sound, like no airplanes, nocars…it would take him about 15 hours of recording time. He said that today, inorder to get that same one hour of undisturbed sound, it takes him 2000 hoursof recording time. Do you findyourself exhausted from being subjected to the noise around you? Those who are parents,do you find that there isn’t enough time in the day? Do you feel emotionally,psychologically, physically, and spiritually depleted? Maybe you are tapped outfrom trying to raise your kids or taking care of your elderly parents. Those who aretrying to climb the ladder of success? Do you find yourself exhausted,fatigued, overscheduled, overcommitted, and overworked? Maybe you think theseare signs that you are an important person. You say to yourself, “I must beworth something.
I must be climbing the ladder. My existence is validated,because I lead an exhausting, insanely paced life.” In the era wherenoise and distraction are constantly nipping at our heels for our attention, wemust embrace other means to rejuvenate and recover. Sometimes weneed to get away, embrace boredom. Embrace recovery. Embrace idle time.
Eliminate the noise around us. Hugh Prather wrote a poem that shook me awake… “IfI had only forgotten future greatness, and looked at the green things and thebuildings, and reached out to those around me, and smelled the air, and ignoredthe forms and the self-styled obligations, and heard the rain on the roof, andput my arms around my wife. And it’s not too late.
” We need time tobe bored. Time to notice the mundane. Time to get away, to free the mind fromthe chatter and noise around us. Time to focus on what really matters in life.Doing this actually makes us better! As the essayistand cartoonist, Tim Kreider, once wrote, as he describes the importance ofretreating away from the world of busyness: “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice;it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprivedof it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets…it is,paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.
” There isincredible value for you as you aim for downtime. The downtime provides youchances for new insights and revitalizes your energy level. We mustintentionally and deliberately create boundaries, identifying areas in our lifewhere we are thoughtful about getting rest.
Where we have stopping points inour day(s). Deliberate time forrestoration. Unhurried time for rest. In his book, Sabbath, Wayne Muller says it sobrilliantly: “Thebusier we are the more important we seem to ourselves and, we imagine, toothers.
To be unavailable to our friends and family, to be unable to find timefor the sunset, to whiz through our obligations without time for mindfulbreath, this has become the model of a successful life.” We have lostconnection, Muller suggests. When we carve out time for Sabbath, we arereminded that we are human beings, nothuman doings. We need a healthy rhythm between work and life to maintain theSabbath in our life. When we don’t take time for restoration, we miss theopportunity to rejuvenate and reengage. As the psalmist says in Psalmstwenty-three, “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside stillwaters.
He restores my soul.” “Sabbath gives the world the energy it needs to exist another six days.” ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel