We live in a very loud world. Instagram posts. Snapchat chats. Instant downloading. Live streaming. Netflix binging. Facebook messaging. App notifications. Email chains. Group texting. Ad pop-ups. Retweets. Shared memes. Pinterest pins. YouTube sensations. Spotify playlists. Recommended podcasts. Ted Talks. Street billboards. Celebrity endorsements. Magazine ads. Shared blogs. Breaking news. Rush-hour traffic. Foot traffic. Elevator banter. Water cooler conversations. Conference room meetings. Board room presentations. Prepared lectures. Restaurant chatter. Sunday sermons. Grocery store bar-code scanning. Playground chaos. Noise. Noise. Noise.
Like I said, we live in a loud world. From the moment we wake till the moment we turn off the lights and call it a day, we are bombarded with messaging. The world is not withholding information from us. We haven’t been left out of the conversation. Culture is not giving us the silent treatment. In fact, quite the opposite. The world seems rather desperate to get our attention, which in one sense is quite flattering. Society seems to think that our time is valuable, our interest imperative, and our contribution critical. In one sense, we are being incessantly sought after. How could that not be flattering?
Flattering, perhaps. But most definitely, sobering. If so many people and companies and corporations and political parties and artists and authors and cultural view points are vying for our attention, then it implies that our attention is worth a great deal. Billions of dollars a year in advertising alone goes towards capturing our focus.
Let’s face it, something so expensive shouldn’t be handed over without some consideration.
Jesus spoke of not casting our pearls before swine. Maybe it is time we see our attention for the treasure that it is, and if necessary, rescue it from the muddy pigpen of endless noise.
May I ask: What is it exactly that has your attention, your focus? What has caught your eye? Who or what is whispering in your ear?
Is a certain musical artist mesmerizing you with their melodies while robbing you of your joy? Is an old friend providing you with company while also providing you with some rather foolish and ungodly advice? Has a certain TV show wowed you with plot twists while also depositing in your soul angst and frustration?
Or perhaps, the loudest messages are no longer limited to the external, but have somehow infiltrated the chambers of your heart. Are the whispers of worry keeping you up at night? Is the discourse of discouragement a constant throughout your day? Is fear framing your world with its little white lies?
Dear friend, dear reader, may I suggest that your attention is better spent elsewhere.
You were not made to cower in fear before the powers of darkness, the work of opposition, or the tough reality of challenges. You were not meant to live weighed down by worry and subjugated to stress. You were not meant to stumble through the fog and haze of discouragement. You are a child of God. You have been rescued and redeemed by Jesus Christ, and it is His blood that now flows through your veins. You are the light of this world. The Spirit of God resides in you. You have been chosen by Heaven and marked with eternal destiny. You serve the Living and Victorious King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Dear friend, your attention is undeniably invaluable. Spend it on things that are worth the value of your time, your focus, your listening ear, your fixed eyes, and most importantly your open heart. Choose to expose yourself to things that inspire goodness, ignite hope, merit laughter, challenge the status quo, awaken bravery within, and bring out your very best. Eliminate unnecessary noise and turn your focus to the infallible and the eternal Word of God. Tune your ears to the teachings of Christ. Let Jesus’ living words shape and frame every aspect of the glorious life you were set apart to live.