The newborn in the NICU will shudder with loud voices, but doesn’t flinch with the alarms going off in the crib next to them. The infant will focus in on the crumb lost in the shag carpet, but blocks out the word, “No.” The toddler stares at the TV and has learned to ignore their name being called. The child explores the universe and forgets to clean their room. The teenager has learned to unplug from the world with video games, headphones, and TV. The college student crams for the test and then drinks or drugs to escape the pressure. The adult is remote.
Our world is cluttered with sound bites. We have 10 second bursts of connections. I have watched people at the gym. They stare and dream. They try and approach the object of their desire. They smile, maybe quip. They have 10 seconds to make an impression. They flash their peacock feathers and hope. Hope dashed by the deafness hidden behind the earbuds. Dating sites encourage sifting through piles of pictures with a like or dislike. The flashes are based entirely on a 2 dimensional picture taken by a well meaning friend for your approval. It says nothing, it is a singular sense attraction. It means nothing, and yet millions seek some sort of connection daily.
How do we react? We shut down. I should speak for myself. I started by ignoring the alarms of life. I would see other people implode, explode, and die. I ignored the fire alarms, the specific warnings to be cautious. The orange barrels set up by God Himself seemed to zip by as I sped along the highway of life, seeking ‘more’. I focused on the crumbs of success, money, fame, fortune, affection, intimacy, etc. The crumb held my attention. The life around me, intertwinned with the gloriously clean and warm shag carpet of life faded from my vision, I forgot what was important. I neglected the life in favor of pursuing the crumb. I could not hear God whispering, “No, that isn’t what I have for you. I have so much more.”
I chased knowledge. I went to medical school. I read a book a week. I got a masters in theology. I am signed up for a PHD in counselling. I love the intricate nuances of life. I like to think and talk. I wax philosophic. The room in my head is a mess. My garden of thought is overgrown. I grew into a remote adult. I had spent a lifetime escaping from the noise of life, I could no longer hear living. I could no longer select the specific noise I wanted to ignore. I had lost the ability to recieve love.
Recieve Love. The love that shines through the infant who giggles at the sound of your voice. The love that glows in the in the child laughing as you wrestle on the shag carpet. The love that clammers for attention from the teen who just wants to be heard. The love that radiates from the adult looking for connection in a connection-less world. The love that springs forth when the whisper says, “I have so much more for you.”