by Deb Trojak

It may be shocking to hear this, but I am surrounded by noise and distraction on a regular basis. Laughing, screaming, shouting, thumping, crying, banging, caterwauling – you name it, I probably hear it on a regular (if not daily) basis. Because of this steady stream of cacophony, I can easily get overwhelmed. There are so many things clamoring for my attention, that sometimes it’s hard to filter what is important and what is just literally noise.

The more I’ve thought about the abundance of noise in my life, I’ve realized that it’s also true in my spiritual life as well. This world is such a loud place – both physically and metaphorically. The amount of distraction I get bombarded with daily is crazy. (And I’m not just talking about the six small people who live in my house.) I can spend a lot of my time looking at social media. What I watch on tv, or read about, or listen to can have a huge impact on where my head and my heart end up. And I can allow what other people say to have more influence over me than what God says.

What am I listening to? And what am I allowing to speak into my life? Do I pay too much attention to the social media posts that make me wish I had what I think someone else has? Am I too focused on the negative thoughts swirling in my head? Is fear the voice that I’m listening to as I read news articles and wonder where the world is heading? I can often feel like I’m drowning in a sea of all the things clamoring to get my attention…when really, there’s only One voice I should be listening too. 

One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is about Elijah. After God has defeated the prophets of Baal by sending fire from the sky, Elijah flees for his life and winds up in a cave on the mountain Horeb.  He’s feeling very alone and afraid, and God speaks to him. “So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. It came about when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:11-13 NASB)

I often expect God to speak in huge, noticeable ways. I want the earthquake and the fire to command my attention, and yet He tends to do the opposite of what I assume. There are lots of reasons for this, and one of them is He wants me to pay attention. There are very few things I have actual control over, but I do get to choose what I listen too. Am I going to be distracted by the noise of the great and strong wind? Or am I going to be like Elijah and recognize the voice of God?

In John 10:27 NASB He says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”  Sheep are not the most brilliant animals on the planet, but they at least know their shepherd’s voice. And if I’m being honest with myself, I do know His voice. It’s in the Scriptures that I need to be digging into and keeping in my heart. It’s gentle but firm. And it’s always there when I choose to pay attention.

So, what are you listening to? What are you allowing to speak into your life? Are you allowing all the other distractions and noise to drown out His voice? Or are you paying attention?

Leave a Reply