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Finding Solitude in a Loud World

It’s been months, I know. There are so many things that I have wanted to say and many more thoughts that have been written down and tucked away for when the time is right. Even the Saturday morning devotional that was sent out for a few years came to a screeching halt. Was it because I was lost or that I lost faith? Absolutely not. God is always a driving force in my life. The driving force in my life. So when I felt that he was telling me to pull back and focus my efforts elsewhere, that’s what I did.

Truth be told, I am still trying to find my grounding on those next steps. But, I felt like I needed to reach out. Maybe for you, maybe for me… I am not too sure. Just know that God and I are working on a few things and when it is time to share, you will know. Your inbox will alert you – and we will be back in regular contact once again. Until then, here’s something that has been on my mind for a while.

I love Thai food and there is a place near my house that has an incredible veggie bento lunch special that I would honestly live off of if I could. So as I went to get takeout a couple of weeks ago, I encountered something that has just stuck with me. See, this small family-run restaurant is in a pretty nice neighborhood that offers both indoor and outdoor dining. I walked past a young couple sitting at a table outside and headed into the restaurant to get my order. As I did, I noticed the woman had a phone in her hand and she was scrolling as music played and just assumed perhaps she was trying to look up something they were talking about. Not paying much mind to it, I went inside.

When I opened the door to walk outside, my ears were slapped with some loud music. Not from a nearby car. Not from the green area across the street where families hang out and let their kids and dogs run. No, no. The music was coming from the couple’s table. The phone was now sitting down between them, untouched, and blaring music.

I guess I should preface this by saying that I am not a fan of people listening to anything on their phones without headphones while in public. I find it quite disrespectful to those around them. So, naturally, my first reaction was whoa… are you serious? What about everyone else trying to enjoy their meal? I totally get that they are outside, but they are still at a restaurant. I thought about this as I walked down the street to my car.

Then it hit me.

I have some young people in my daily life of all different ages, from two to twenty-three. And every single one of them needs constant sound, stimulation, or something. Whether it is listening to a podcast, music, a TV show on Netflix, YouTube, TikTok, or something else, it is a constant. Sometimes, thanks to earbuds, you may not even realize that you are talking to someone who is carrying on a conversation with you while also listening to Episode 195 of their favorite podcast. Are they truly hearing you? Are they really able to be 100% present in the conversation? Not sure, but I doubt it.

So, are we creating multi-tasking geniuses? Perhaps. But are we also creating people who don’t know what to do in silence? Are they so unsure of how to act that they blare music during a quiet meal at a restaurant because the sound of no sound at all is too deafening?

I recently stumbled upon a study that was done several years ago. In a nutshell, participants were given the option to sit in solitude for 15 or so minutes or administer an electric shock to themselves. You’d be surprised at how many would prefer the shock over simply sitting in the quiet with their thoughts – 67% of men and 25% of women would rather receive the pain.

Here’s the question I came to. If we know that we need to be still so that we can hear God, how are the future generations ever going to hear his quiet whisper? Or any of us, for that matter.

I wonder sometimes if I have too much going on or too much chaos around me to be able to sit and hear God’s voice. I, too, can easily get caught up in TV shows, movies, and, of course, TikTok. While I try to be intentional about having those moments of solitude – even if just to breathe – I find it isn’t always easy. What is going to happen to us if we keep heading down this same path?

Something tells me that this bit of self-awareness I encountered means it is a good time to take note of my down time. And, I really felt compelled to share it with you, too.

Want to unplug together?

Until next time… ❤❤

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