It’s usually the mail and the piles of laundry – dirty, clean, folded, unfolded. I try to ignore it, and I can for a while and then it chokes me.
Sometimes it’s the schedule. The way I wake up in the morning and I sigh as soon as I think of all the places I have to run to and all the commitments we have to keep.
Other days it’s the people that are depending on me for work or help or just friendship and I feel like I can’t keep up.
It’s the NOISE. The noise that we can’t even hear most days – and isn’t that ironic?…. but oh, don’t let it fool you, it’s loud and clear.
It’s screaming at us.
SCREAMING telling us we’re crazy,
telling us we’re going to fail,
and mostly telling us that it will win at deafening us.
Making it impossible to hear what really matters in our lives.
After all, that’s what too much loud noise will do, right?
Deafen us. Cause us to not even be aware of other noises.
You all, we have a noise problem.
And this culture we live in – the one that tells us to achieve it all, and have it all (literally), and do it all – will do nothing to encourage us to fight against it. Because, you see, it’s the very reason we have all this noise.
The endless activities for our kids, and the high achievements, and the “stuff”, goodness all the stuff, and the screen after screen after screen.
See it – and hear it – for what it is. It is noise that competes with what really matters in our lives.
Because – as much as we all get tired of our mom saying it, or the sweet lady at the grocery, or a random blogger – we all know in the end, the other things won’t matter. The time we spent with one another and the words we spoke and the moments we shared. THAT is what will leave us at the end saying, “I’m proud of how I spent my days.”
So have you taken time to really look at the NOISE around you? I’m not talking about cleaning off the counter or finally saying no to PTA.
I’m talking about a good hard look at what each area of your life is bringing to your family.
Is it producing good fruits or bad fruits? Are you and your family even noticing the fruits?
What are the things you really want to be doing as a family or with friends? Is it going for a walk, playing a game, just sitting down for dinner together? Is it happening in your schedule?
What is keeping it from happening? The disorganization in your home? Too many places to be? Everyone living in virtual worlds on tiny screens?
C.S. Lewis said, “we live in a world starved…for silence” yet we rarely take time to feed it to our own families.
If silence is the opposite of noise and the noise is very capable of making our families suffer, shouldn’t we be examining it daily and welcoming the “silence”? Follow through with the screen limits. Make your laundry system work. Don’t sign your child up for three indoor soccer sessions. Say “no” to the volunteer position.
Imagine what could await for you in your life if you just turned down the intensity of the loudest noises in your family.
Silence is golden because it’s a treasure. Take time to listen to it.
This story originally appeared on The noise that’s deafening our families. Here’s your secret weapon.