In today’s culture, the noise is overwhelming, a little like living in a whirlwind of voices. Social media, myriads of 24-hour news stations, seemingly unlimited resources on the internet have allowed opinions of every sort to invade the lives of many of us. It also seems evident that the more radical the news the more play it gets. So, this has led to the radical left and the radical right getting most of the play time. In many ways, the radicals among us seem to not only dominate the conversation but define it too. Few things demand more attention than that which caters to fear or creates anxiety. So, we listen.
We listen to voices that tell us that we need to get back to the way it used to be. We listen to voices that say we have to trash everything and start over. We listen to voices that tell us we need to keep it like it is. Sometimes we just hope the noise will stop. We listen to pundits, entertainers, politicians, talk show hosts, news anchors, progressive this, conservative that, fair and balanced or some other brand of news. It can be exhausting.
The early disciples lived in the whirlwind of a crazy world. As difficult as it was, I can’t imagine what it would have been like if social media existed. There were the words of Pharisees, somehow different from the Sadducees, the words of Romans, very different from the Jewish Zealots. There were self-styled prophets, self-proclaimed messiahs, rumors everywhere. There were radicals wanting people to go live in communes in the hills and others wanting to create a rebellion. And, then there was Jesus!
Jesus said, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” He said, “Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” He said, “Love God will all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and your neighbor as yourself.” He said, “Don’t be afraid, don’t doubt, don’t be anxious.” He said “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and sup with them and they with me.” Jesus said, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.”
I have learned that we should listen the most closely to the ones who love us the most. I listen to my wife Rhonda, she has proven she loves me. I listened to my parents, they proved many times they loved me. I listen to Jesus, I know He loves me. He has proven it. “He who did not spare His own son but gave Him up for us all, how will He also, along with Him, give us all things.”
My suggestion is that we spend time listening to the one who loves us most, the only one who can calm the whirlwind the present culture is so determined to keep kicking up, the same one that calls us to follow Him.