One of the activities that my wife and I enjoy is going for rides on our motorcycle. What has made the time together more enjoyable has been the addition of noise cancelling headsets that allow us to talk. It hit me recently that this illustrates a real challenge in my life. How I allow the noise of life to distract me from what is really important- time with the Lord and with those that I love.
I recently was visiting family when it hit me how loud the volume was on the TV. It was annoyingly loud to me but they did not even notice. The noise limited our ability to have a conversation. It reminded me of how the noise of our culture distracts us from what is most important. The distraction can be visually and audibly but more often than not they are cognitive distractions. The noise of what is happening captures our curiosity and demands our attention from others aspects of life that are more important.
I was reminded of the importance for the follower of Jesus to tune out the noise and to focus on Biblical truth. The Senior Apostle Paul, more than likely writing at the end of his life, writes to his younger protégé, Pastor Timothy about tuning out the noise of culture. Paul was aware of the ungodly character of the times and the challenges that it presented to living for Jesus. It is in this context that he reminds Pastor Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it” (2 Timothy 3:14)
Timothy, like many of us, was blessed by the influence of other followers of Jesus in his life. Paul reminds him of the blessing of being raised in a Godly home. We also know that he came to know Christ through a Godly mother and grandmother. He also enjoyed the privilege of being discipled by the Apostle Paul. Our situations may be different than Timothy’s, but I am sure that you too have been blessed by at least one believer in your life. It could be a family member, a friend or a Christian leader.
One of the challenges of noise, is that it distracts us from focusing on what we should. The loud road noises can distract the rider from any thoughts of the beauty of God’s creation. The noise of the TV can shutdown interactions with others and control what we think about. And the noise of culture can pull us away from pondering the foundation truths of our faith; leading us to worry and fret over current situations.
The Apostle reminds Timothy, serving Jesus in a noisy culture, to not lose focus on the foundational truth of the Christian faith. He writes, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it” (2 Timothy 3:14) It is interesting to consider how thinking about God’s truth, Biblical meditation, is our God given noise cancellation for living in a noisy secular culture.
Let me encourage you to take some time this week to turn off the noise in your life and to think about the Lord’s many blessings in your life. It could involve turning off social media or silencing your phone. It could be turning off talk radio or sitting for an evening with the TV of computer turned off and thinking about the Creator and your relationship with Him. You might even want to read a portion of your Bible. You will be surprise how it changes your perspective on life.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson