Overstimulated and Underwhelmed

In my defense, I only bought one of them!

But, that’s not the purpose of these writings–to defend myself. Rather, to publicly humble myself, seek God’s face (and hopefully point to it for the sake of others) and turn from my wicked ways so that God might bring healing, hope, blessing and favor. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

What did I buy?–a noise maker. A battery operated toy that blinks and blings, tosses hard plastic balls in the air or rolls them across the floor. The rest were generous gifts from family and friends (and don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for them and will continue to use up their precious batteries many times over!)


Yesterday, as I usually do, I set Eve on the floor of her bedroom to entertain herself for a few minutes and then flipped the switches on one, two, three, four toys. I watched her begin to play with her favorite hungry hippo, gleefully. But the moment the next toy barked, she glanced that way. Then behind her when the next one woke up — She did a full 360 just trying to keep her eyes on all the entertainment and decide what she wanted to do next.

Finally, I stepped over the baby gate and headed to take a shower. Within 30 seconds, she was at the gate crying! All those wonderful, animated toys and she was over it all ready! Overstimulated, she was quickly frustrated and wanted only the secure and simple arms of her post-workout, sweaty mommy. 

Abba tapped me, “Listen to me in silence, O coastlands; let the peoples renew their strength; let them approach, then let them speak; let us together draw near for judgment.” Isaiah 41:1

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14

“Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray.” Job 6:24

And for good measure, He had me look up what an inspired dead guy had to say about being quiet: February 13, 1949 – “It seems to me that what I am made for is not speculation but silence and emptiness, to wait in darkness and receive the Word of God entirely in His Oneness and not broken up into all His shadows.”  Thomas Merton

Do you ever feel that way–over stimulated. But are you also terrified of what might happen in the scary silence? I know that there’s scarcely a moment I’m not, at the very least, audibly entertained: the news, worship music, a sermon, a phone call … nothing bad, but rarely silence.

Last night, when we returned home late from a meeting, I set Eve on the floor while I made dinner and dumped a bag of colored balls in front of her. She was thrilled!

So what of silence? Where do you find it and do you think it’s really all that important? Can we truly know the heart and mind of God amidst the cacophony of our lives? If not, then why do we still avoid the silence?