Overcoming the Noise

Noise.

We live in a world full of the Noise. A constant hum of chatter runs rampant in our lives.

Key strokes on a computer. Endless posts on our news feed. The complaints of our companions. Tweets and retweets.

Car engines. Traffic. Airplanes. Cell phones.

The Noise culminates in a blur and we respond in two ways:

We add more Noise

or

We desperately try to escape it

In the end, we’re consumed. Maybe we gain a few hours of solitude while we sleep, but we wake to a world ready to deliver the Noise to our doorstep as soon as the alarm sounds.

Pull a chair up to the kitchen table

Pull a chair up to the kitchen table

I’m writing this morning from the quiet of my kitchen table. My place of solitude. My place where the Noise fades.

The kitchen table is a lost resource in our world today. If I may dare say so, the missing ingredient to the peace we hope to find.

Now your table may be proverbial in nature, but lest you forget to rest within its comfort, you will become consumed by the Noise.

A park bench. That corner office. Your porch swing. The beach chair.

Where is that still, soft place for you?

Search for that table and create a habit of gathering around it. As you rest there, remind yourself of this:

My life is determined by the habits I create and by the actions I take, everyday. As much as circumstance seems to rule, I have been given the freedom to respond. My responsibility rests within that decision. My thoughts will guide my decisions which will fuel my action, thus yielding the habits directing my life.

I share this as an encouragement for both myself and for you. The Noise will draw you away to drown you out.

It’s not easy to be intentional about creating a habit of resting around your kitchen table. That is why you have to invite someone to join you.

The question then becomes, “Who do I invite to the table?”

This question may be as important as the table itself. If we invite the Noise to the table, we never leave its embrace. However, the Stillness quiets the Noise.

It is at my table where I embrace the Stillness.

Every morning when I rise, I find the Stillness within my journal. Writing my thoughts and prayers allows the Stillness to envelop me. Like a cool refreshing drink in the heat of summer, watching the pen leave its mark on the paper helps quench my thirst. Clarity is forced.

At the time, it may seem blurry and confusing, but words come to life as the Stillness speaks.

I begin to see.

Sometimes the Stillness takes the form of a friend as we gather together. Not to create further Noise, but to rest in the Stillness. As brothers and sisters in arms we battle the Noise as we fuel the fire found within the Community.

Do not give up the habit of meeting together in the Community. Surround yourself with it.

Rest within the Stillness found there. Encouragement, love, joy and opportunity are all friends that will join you.

So, pull up a chair and build a foundation of truth, peace, and light.

The Stillness is life.

MH

Where do you find your Stillness? Do you have Community that adds to your Stillness?

Here at www.mattham.com I hope to be part of your Community. Today's post is a reflection on my observations over the past few weeks. I've seen the busyness of the world rush by, but I have found peace by resting in God's Word and the encouragement of family and good friends.

If I can help you in any way, please let me know.

Get a copy of my eBook by joining the Live Richly Community.

 

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  • I love reading your posts, Matt. This one really spoke to me because it is a topic I am working on. When you have your first child your world seems to be a bit up side down. I used to meditate every morning and find that place of stillness. Now, when I get to it, I fall asleep instead of truly being able to reflect. I used to find stillness by reading an inspiring book – today I fall asleep after the first sentence ;). Therefore, my search continues since my inspiration and passion comes from within me. I coach it, I write about it, I speak about it and I am challenged with it as much as others. I recently had a conversation with someone who traveled throughout Europe and she said that in the US we are so used to a fast pace life that we forget to create space to just be us and relax. I didn’t realize it until she mentioned it – and the interesting part is that I moved to the US about 5 years ago and I’ve already gotten so used to it that I didn’t realize it myself. My place of stillness always has been in meditation and prayer and a plus if I get to do it outside. I love the stillness of the morning when everything around us awakens, when I can breathe in the crisp air. Thanks for the reminder, Matt.

    • Thanks Isabel! Where did you move from? I think the US fuels the Noise as well, but it is awesome Watching everything wake up!

      • I moved from Germany. It’s been 12 years that I lived in DC and left everything behind, then went back to Germany to work with international students but always knew that I would come back. So, here I am – in the midwest ;). I have been so blessed over the past years – the journey has been and is simply amazing. Enjoy San Fran, by the way. I used to live there and my coach just moved there last year, as well.

        • Isabel were having a blast! Check out some of my FB photos.

  • Part of the trouble with overcoming the Noise is that we feel so owned by it: if we aren’t contributing to it ourselves, then we’re lost. Therefore we must listen in order to make “smart” comments, chime in at the right time, ensure we aren’t left out. To a certain extent I find myself buying into it; other times I refuse to let it get to me, opting instead for quiet mornings at my dining room table or on a walk. I believe the best approach, as with any noise, is to attempt to shut it off if we aren’t finding it useful and control it if we are.

    • Sarah, I always wonder if I’m part of the Noise or the Stillness. Useful is a great word.

  • Love it!

  • Jenny

    I had a quiet morning today too. Usually I escape through long walks, but today it was enough to wake before the family and clean with praise music on.

    • I love that time in the morning Jenny!