The clarity of stillness, helps combat the WRETCHED CHATTER of a mind gone rouge.
& WHY I SWITCH MY PHONE OFF AFTER 4PM during business hours.
God does not shout over our busyness to make Himself heard. Be still and hear God speak.
Silence can be disturbing and the loudest experience for some of us when our soul is not rested. We tend to busy ourselves with more outer chatter. More noise to overcome the inner loud voice that has no pause or stop button.
We keep going and going until a breakdown happens, rather than a breakthrough.
A number of years ago, my son and I took three days to do a 3500km charity drive throughout the north of Western Australia. While in the desert, I took photos of the incredible silence of the Australian outback. Nothing but nature at its best! It is often in these times you get a sense of how much time we waste on idol and meaningless chatter.
The secular world has mastered the art of avoiding the voice of God or the silent voice of harmonious conscience, by bending to the idolatry of busyness. The busier we get, the less we hear our conscience, that part of us that protects us from self destruction.
We often try and justify ourselves by achievements rather than being at peace with our conscience.
I have been guiltiest of them all.
I often ask individuals that have that burnt out look on their face, or, hear it in the tone of their voice, “When is your next holiday?”. It is amazing to watch the creative excuses pour out, why they are too busy to take time out. Just having a healthy uninterrupted lunch break seems to be out of their reach. The idea of leaving work early or just switching the phone off for a few hours is too much to ask.
I remember the days I lifted myself on such a high Pedestal. I thought the world would collapse if I wasn’t always at the helm, steering every decision. I metaphorically patted myself on the back more times than I can remember, thinking of how much I achieved. The reward for such busyness, was the growing loneliness that set in, and the chatter that increased in my head.
Fact: I became a brilliant manager, worshiping achievement. I also became a terrible leader of self governing and devaluing the human experience. I treated myself harshly and I treated those around me with contempt because I was addicted to achievement. In all my achievements, I was longing for peace and meaning. The more I achieved, the louder the chatter became in my head.
Some years ago I made a radical decision to rid myself of the chatter or at least minimise it in my head. We all know the unnecessary dramas that constantly try to creep into our souls. Chatter, that is like unwanted weeds, in the most beautiful patch of grass.
How did the world ever survive without phones?,
and in recent years the double edged, smart phone? I suspect people have become lazier, less creative and far more dependent on instant answers rather than being patient and planning things through. They have replaced craftsmanship, quality of character and longevity for short term gain, the praise of strangers. Yet the chatter remains.
For over eighteen years as a pastor and a further ten years as a shopping centre manager, my phone was on 24/7. In all those years, answering my phone at all hours, rarely, if any of these phone calls, needed to be answered with the urgency they were made. Being the people pleaser that I was, I became the fool, as the worlds most gullible punching bag for other people’s dramas, inconsistencies and melt downs.
These days I try to be present with those in front of me. I want to give my full attention to the task I’m working on, including my sleep or rest time. The only way to achieve this is by controlling the amount of disruptions that look to infiltrate my life.
Disruptions that eat away the peace that I value so much.
Fighting the temptation of,
The superstar mentality, the people pleaser curse, the desire to be liked will always be grabbing for our attention. As mentioned in the opening statement, I am guiltiest of all. As I get older, I find it easier to drop the chatter once I recognise it creeping in.
Our soul can make its greatest choices in the silence, the quieter it is, the greater the creative juices flow.
Choose this course rather than be at the beck and call of everyone else’s whim.
Constant chatter grinds at the core of our being.
Constant chatter keeps us unnecessary busy, confused and fearful.
Our choice to be silent helps us from overreacting, allows perspective to take place for clear decision making.
Silence stirs up the possibilities, it guards us against the chattering bandits that seek to steal our centre, where God speaks clearly and our conscience is aligned.
How is the chatter going in your head?
If you are in a season where where chatter is consuming your mind and you are looking for renewal, consider switching off that phone for an hour, for the afternoon, or changing routines that make you dependent on minute by minute updates.
We are more than fodder for the economic machine, we are fearfully and wonderfully created to live a life of meaning. It’s time to hear God’s voice and align our conscience.
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Feature picture taken in the middle of the northwest desert at sunrise. It reminds of the burning bush story where God spoke to Moses in the silence of life.
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