read to feed the soul
Written by FBJ Women for Women
by: Camille Anding
None of my research identified the author of the old adage “Silence is golden,” but I heartily agreed with the anonymous thinker. I would also add that in this generation, “Silence is scarce!”
The first time that my husband, Othel, and I visited the Alabama football stadium to watch a competition, I was given a new definition of crowd noise – no, make that crowd roar. The stadium actually felt like it was vibrating from the screams and shouts of the fans.
On another occasion I was shown a version of indoor noise when we went to New Orleans and saw and heard Kentucky fans support “Big Blue.” It was a vast wave of blue-donned fans standing and hooping in support of their team. Seated near us was a silver-haired lady that was screaming to the top of her lungs. She had to have been in her 80s! The cheerleaders were doing their part, but leaders weren’t needed. There was a roar, chant, or cheer going continually in one or all sections of the arena.
It’s not unusual for crowds of young or old to be noisy, but I’ve noticed that noise is comfortable among small groups or individuals. The human race is addicted to sound waves traveling through “i” gadgets, TVs, radios, and intercoms. We’ve become addicted to noise devices that fill a room, a stadium or plug into a single set of ears.
In my observations of noise versus silence, I’ve noticed that out of all God’s creation, it’s the humans that are the biggest noisemakers. We could take some lessons from the animal kingdom. I suppose all or most animals make some sort of noise, but it’s not constant. Horses and cows graze in silence, ducks swim quietly, and kittens purr softly on occasion. Observe a butterfly – busy gliding from one flower to the next without making a single sound in all of its activity. Bees’ tiny motors hum, but it’s a soft hum. Flowers expend much power in turning from a small bud to an open blossom but never make a sound. The morning glories that have come up volunteer near a backyard trellis will take hold of that trellis, climb it, display a drift of blooms without a single sound.
Our Yoshino cherry tree deserved a grand prize blue ribbon for its parade of blooms this spring, but it did it all in total silence – didn’t even make a whisper.
I’m convinced that we miss a lot by choosing noise over silence in so much of our day. We leave no quiet time to meditate or concentrate. There’s no space left for the still, small voice of God to speak to our hearts.
It seems the weight room is not the only place to acquire strength. A quiet corner emptied of all noise might just hold unlimited power.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Father, in all the noise and chaos that seems to drown our days, draw us to solitude and stillness in Your presence. Amen
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