Peace and quiet – the words always fit together. If we leave out the quiet, the peace is never completely …well, peaceful. Shooting wars are loud; arguments can be loud, if not on the outside, on the inside. Loud can be uncomfortable. It can damage your hearing even if it doesn’t damage your eardrums.
When the bulldogs start barking, they don’t hold back. Full volume with no shutoff and no timer. You can hold your hands up, you can say, “Shhh!”, and you can start barking orders yourself. But when they are in full voice, a single human can’t compete. At that point, everybody is hearing the noise, but no one can hear what is being said.
“Hey!” is my favorite go-to word at those moments. I can’t drown them out. It doesn’t matter. “Hey!” is an attention grabbing word. It doesn’t have any other purpose or meaning. If I shout it long enough, loud enough, I will eventually insert it into a narrow window in the barking and one bully will pause, then another, and so on.
At last, I can hear and be heard. Whether I am obeyed or not is another matter entirely.
I believe we are guilty of shouting at each other and at God more than we are willing to admit. When we get loud, we can’t hear. Take a breath. Lower the volume. Listen in the quiet for the still, small voice of the Lord. (1 Kings 19:11-12 KJV)
“Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother…” Psalm 131:2 KJV
No matter what we are trying to say, the louder we are, the less we hear. The less we hear, the less we learn.
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