Friday, December 14, 2012

The Noisy World

The world is such a noisy place. It makes our ears wearily work all the time.
It drowns our ears with so much advertising of worldly things that give shallow and fleeting joy.
It makes us busy with the seemingly great things it offers.
It makes us occupied.

Here's a typical day in the noisy world:
Meet the World who has always told you a lot of things that you do not really need to hear.

Waking Up
You wake up to your alarm at 6am.
Robbing us of one of the greatest time to pray, the World tells you to check your phone first.
It tells you to check your e-mail and log in to Facebook.
Morning is so boring, so the World advises you to make yourself busy by texting, surfing the internet or listening to the music you love.
Time flies so fast, you don't even have time to eat breakfast. You'll be late if you do.

On the Road
You go outside of your house, thinking that maybe, you could use your commuting time to pray. Wow, praying for one hour or longer (your travel time) is an already long time! Yey! You say you'll "devote" this time to God!!

But then the jeepney you ride on loves rap music, thus, plays it to the maximum volume, as if forcing every passenger to love it as well. Some loves listening to radio, blasting our ears with unlimited "Hi Pang-ga! Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan?" If not the jeepney's sound sytem, you'll hear the chorus of "Bayad po, pakisuyo po" and the chit-chatting of two girls sitting next to you.
As if the noise is not yet enough, the World also offers us plenty of things to look at. The World does not say that it's necessary to reflect on what you see; it just wants you to stare at people, maybe judge them a little, so you'll have something to do. It wants you to look at posters and billboards without any good reason. Just stare blankly at them.

If you're privileged enough to travel by your own car, that does not mean that you are privileged to have rest from the noise of the World. The World says silence is boring, you should never get used to silence! Turn on the radio!! Now! The trip is so long!! And you always seem to give in. There's little time to reflect on your life because there's so much traffic you have to focus, there are a lot of drivers who wants your attention by driving recklessly. The World gives us a lot of interesting billboards that do nothing much but to urge us to think that our lives suck and we need material things to make it better.
You arrive at your school/workplace. The World is ever so helpful in keeping silence away from you! Good job, World.

In School/Workplace
Three words for this: busy, busy and a-little-entertainment.
The World successfully makes us insane by overloading our brains with information and with things to do.
When we are blessed with free time, we are told that we cannot use it to pray. The World says, "It's your free time? Great! It's time to worry about everything."
When we want to unwind, the World says that prayer is not what you need to relieve your stress - the World says it is hanging out with friends, pigging out, or playing games in the iPad you revere so much. That is the little entertainment that could relieve your stress.. or not!

On the Way Home
The World shouts to you almost the same things when you were on the road earlier. Only this time, the World tells you that you have more reason not to pray on the road - it gives you the RUSH HOUR. The World also tells you that you are too tired to think, you have to sleep on the way home so you'll have energy to do everything you have to do when you get home. As you get nearer to your home, the World makes your head filled with worry of how you'd get things done, or how you'd get sleep with all these things you have to do.
Well, there are days when you have nothing to worry during travel time. The World says, entertain yourself with music in your ears or play your favorite game. The World says, "well just do anything so you won't be bored.. praying is boring so don't do it now"

Arriving Home
Alas! You're now here in the your home where you can do what you have to do. You're in your home now, with more time to do a lot of worrying and/or to do nothing.
This could also be the time where you actually do something (especially when tomorrow is the deadline). The World says how great of an excuse your busy-ness is to not praying today. The World says that God will understand why you don't have time to pray.
If you had a "free" night where you don't have to do anything, the World offers a lot of alternatives.. Watch your favorite teleserye, enjoy tambay with your friends, surf the net, sleep early, watch a movie, etc etc etc etc!!

Going to Sleep
You are too tired to do anything. At the end of the day, you feel tired. Very tired and restless.
Nevertheless, the World says that you still have a little energy for Facebook. But definitely not for God, that requires too much energy, you need some sleep! (as if Facebook makes you sleep earlier)

How ironic it is that we have all the time to complain about everything, but little time to come to the Father who gives us strength to do anything and who gives us rest.
We need to have quiet time with God, so we won't get lost in the noise. The typical day in the world shows us how the World can easily our shift focus to worthless things!

How do we have a great "quiet time" with God, you ask?
1. Step away from the noise of the world
Look for a place where you would not be interfered by any form of media (television, internet, whatever). Somewhere or some time where you won't hear the World's noise.

2. Turn down the volume of the noise inside your head
You have many things you worry about. There are many things you can't help but think. Lay them all before God and empty your mind to receive what God has to say. Listening to God's voice organizes your thoughts and clears the noise in your head. God's voice will teach you how to master your thoughts and not be mastered by them.

God's voice is a very precious wonder to hear. Once you learn how to listen, you'll be able to stand firm and sing songs of praises amidst all the noise!

I praise God for giving us the privilege to bond with Him like this. Nothing else makes me this joyful! 

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