One of the best presents I’ve given my nephew on Christmas was Magic Tracks, the amazing race track that can bend, flex, and glow. It definitely was fun to watch and provided hours of entertainment building hills, turning off the lights to watch the bright colors, and so many other fun features. I didn’t realize it came with a negative side—noise. Those cars racing around the track were LOUD! We found it difficult to have conversations, and after a while we became a bit agitated. Finally, we flipped the off switch on all the cars and basked in the silence.
I feel that way presently. So much noise is circling around me in so many formats:
- Divisive elections
- Tiresome coronavirus
- Ever-present social media
- Blaring television
- Confusing technology gadgets
- Sparring news stations
Sometimes I just need to hit the stop button and turn off the noise.
Jesus gets it. He lived the final years of his life pursued by mobs, questioned by authorities, hounded with demands for healing, and so much more. In Mark 6, Jesus sent out the disciples in pairs to do ministry. They cast out demons and healed many who were sick. When they returned to Jesus and reported on all they had done, do you know what he said? He told them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” The scripture further explains that so many were coming and going that they didn’t even have time to eat. The word that popped out to me in this section of scripture was “desolate.”
The definition of desolate is empty, barren, devoid of anything.
In other words, no distractions. No noise. They could have rested at a friend’s house or sat by the sea and took a nap, but Jesus instructed them to go to a desolate place.
I admit the past couple of weeks have made me extra weary. There has been so much noise in my life. Maybe I need to take a step back into a barren landscape. I still have a job and family and responsibilities, so I questioned how it was possible. Here’s what I challenged myself to do:
- In the late evening an hour or two before bed, put my phone on “do not disturb.”
- Take a break from social media one day a week.
- Turn off the TV when it’s not my favorite program and spend time reading God’s Word instead.
- Silence the radio in the car and talk to God.
- Stop watching the news.
I don’t know what cacophony is swirling around your life, but maybe it’s time to push pause and retreat to some solitude with the King of Kings. Let him restore and replenish your weary soul. As for me, when I’m inundated by the world, I need to make “stop the noise” my mantra and follow the directive of Jesus. He’s always right.
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/