Even Amazon cannot sell me a cone of silence.
Perhaps you’re not familiar with the concept. You can get a quick explanation here.
Suffice it to say that the idea is a device that would create a soundproof barrier between you and everyone else around you. If you don’t understand why anyone would desire such a device… I don’t really know what to tell you except that many of us have a hard time finding moments without noise.
It seems that, even for a guy like myself that has a great appetite for quiet, it can sometimes be very difficult to shut out all of the noise and truly listen. And I don’t think I’m unique.
I’ve observed that many of us are actually addicted to some kind of noise. For some it’s their go-to binge on Netflix or default playlist on Spotify, for others it may be Fox News or a podcast that clogs the air. For some it may just be the inner recitation of the to-do list that rattles on in an unending directive of productivity.
But, whatever the noise, it’s something that appears to be epidemic in our society. And it keeps many of us from hearing the voice we most desperately need to hear.
As followers of Jesus, there is no greater need than to be attuned to the Spirit of God. It’s the voice we need to recognize, respond to, follow.
When God was teaching Elijah some hard truths in 1 Kings 19, He spoke in a low whisper. When Isaiah was describing the way God would lead his people, he wrote:
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or to the left.” (Isa 30.20)
Through the New Testament we’re instructed to walk in the Spirit, be filled with the Spirit, and yield to the Spirit. But it seems that, as a voice within us, it can easily get confused for our own voice, but they are not the same. And discerning one from the other becomes so very much easier when we simply spend some time focusing our hearts and minds—or more our spiritual ears—on God.
This is why I so would like to find some functional cone of silence—to block out everything else and tune my spiritual ears to the voice of the Spirit. But this is not the way the world works. Even Jesus stepped away from all of the crowds and busyness to spend time alone with the Father. So we know we need it as well.
But maybe it’s not as complicated as we make it.
Maybe it’s as simple as the psalm instructs:
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
Maybe I don’t need a cone of silence. Maybe all I need is to switch off all of the voices I can and listen for the One that I most desperately need. Maybe I can trust Him enough to just be still.
Well… of course I can.
Father, teach me to sit down, shut up, and be still… and know that You are God.