Bob Tamasy: Finding Tranquility In A Noisy World

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Much as I hate to admit it, I’ve got an addiction – and I suspect you do, too. It’s an addiction to noise.

We wake up and our sleep cobwebs are hardly dispersed before we flick on the TV, radio or grab our smart phones to find out what we’ve missed while we were sleeping. Getting into our cars, almost immediately we turn on the radio or CD player. If we go to the gym, we’re probably wearing headphones and listening to tunes or a message of some sort from an MP3 player.

At the coffee shop, eating lunch at a restaurant, or at the dinner table, we struggle to keep our hands off our phones, even though there are perfectly intelligent, conversational humans sitting within an arm’s length from us.

Noise. Noise. Noise. The constant din is so relentless, we’re almost oblivious to it. We lose the sense that sometimes, noise annoys. Occasionally we have that rare experience of being somewhere that’s quiet, where tranquility still exists. Then we begin a frantic search…for some noise. As if we require noise as much as we do oxygen, food or water.

The problem with noise is it makes it almost impossible to hear the Lord. The Scriptures speak of the “still, small voice” of God (1 Kings 19:12). This passage appears soon after the Lord had used the prophet Elijah as a virtual one-man band, fending off hundreds of false prophets representing counterfeit gods, and then accurately predicting the end of a 3½-year drought.

After receiving word the evil queen Jezebel had put a contract on his life, Elijah fled, physically, emotionally and spiritually spent. After giving the prophet time to recover from the stressful events, God had a special message for him. He sent a mighty wind, an earthquake and fire, but the Lord’s voice wasn’t in any of those. At last came a still, small voice – the gentle, understanding whisper of God telling Elijah it was time to return to action.

Sometimes when I meet with friends I ask, “What do you think the Lord is telling you these days?” Often they shrug their shoulders, no sure how to answer. It’s probably because they’ve been so immersed in noise – TV talk shows, music being piped into the mall, YouTube videos, or just preoccupation with apps on their smartphones – that there’s no way they could hear even if God spoke to them audibly.

I don’t have a simple remedy for this, being a fellow struggler with the “noise makers” of our day. My “addiction” truly is problematic. I find myself too often visiting favorite websites or checking out social media to see what my “friends” and contacts have been up to or what they’re saying. In the evenings, turning the TV on is almost a reflex.

But there are times, wonderful times, when the “sounds of silence” find me – and I find them happily refreshing. As I write this, the only sound I hear is that of my fingers tapping on the keyboard. A small airplane just flew over, but for a few brief moments, the accustomed noise has subsided.

Interestingly, though there were no phone apps, TV programs, radio commentators, or even billboards to distract them, people in biblical times still required intentionality to find quiet. Speaking to the psalmist, the Lord commanded, “Be still, and know that I am God…. I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). King David, with enemies in hot pursuit, wrote reflectively, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7).

In a recent meditation, Cindy Hess Kasper wrote about a college president urging her students to “power down” for an evening, setting aside the cell phones and stepping away from technology entirely for a while, so they could spend the time in prayer and listening to worshipful music. The effect for many of the students was a surprisingly pleasant respite from the frenzy of daily life.

Maybe we should consider something along those lines ourselves. Even more than once. As the old TV commercial used to say, “Try it. You’ll like it!”

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Mike And PaMela Patton Speak At Metro Tab Church Sunday

Bob Tamasy: Hating to Exercise, Loving To Have Exercised

Men's Discipleship Conference Is June 29 At Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist


Metro Tab Church will have Pastor Mike Patton, its missions pastor, along with his wife, Pastor PaMela Patton, give a update on Honduras during the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday. The praise ... (click for more)

More than 20 years ago, after my first trip to Europe where I walked for miles every day, I decided to continue my new habit by power-walking several times a week. Then, after my open-heart surgery ... (click for more)

Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church, 1115 N. Moore Road in Chattanooga, announces their Men's Discipleship Conference on Saturday, June 29 from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Breakfast and lunch ... (click for more)


Church

Mike And PaMela Patton Speak At Metro Tab Church Sunday

Metro Tab Church will have Pastor Mike Patton, its missions pastor, along with his wife, Pastor PaMela Patton, give a update on Honduras during the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday. The praise and worship will be led by worship pastors Adam and Olivia Aziz along with the Metro praise team, choir and band. The children's pastors Brian and Britti Raff and the Metro Kidz staff will ... (click for more)

Bob Tamasy: Hating to Exercise, Loving To Have Exercised

More than 20 years ago, after my first trip to Europe where I walked for miles every day, I decided to continue my new habit by power-walking several times a week. Then, after my open-heart surgery in 2006, I resolved that if I came through the operation successfully, I would do everything my doctors recommended for recovery, including exercise. Ever since, I’ve been engaging ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County Commission Votes 5-4 Against 34-Cent Property Tax Increase For The Schools

The County Commission voted 5-4 on Wednesday morning against a 34-cent property tax increase for the county schools. Opposed were Greg Martin, Randy Fairbanks, Chester Bankston, Tim Boyd and Sabrena Smedley. In favor were Chip Baker, Katherlyn Geter, Warren Mackey and David Sharpe. County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said the action means that none of the budget is approved ... (click for more)

Fire Heavily Damages Vacant Hixson Home Early Wednesday Afternoon

A fire heavily damaged a Hixson home early Wednesday afternoon. At 1:20 p.m., a neighbor called 911 reporting a house fire at 1833 Bay Hill Dr. The Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting heavy fire on the front door and porch area. Firefighters entered the front and back side of the home to find heavy fire downstairs and heavy smoke ... (click for more)

Opinion

Beck Thanks Sheriff Hammond

I would like to take a moment to thank Sheriff Hammond and his patrol officers for their superb display of professionalism. Quick action in response to a request to the sheriff and his patrol division made family newcomers to our county delightfully surprised and comfortable. Our dad, James Crosby, made his transition on Father's Day and was laid to rest at Chattanooga National ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dakota’s Coming

Dakota Meyer, who on a day in September of 2011 defied battlefield orders to save the lives of over 30 soldiers who were pinned down in a brutal Afghanistan ambush, is coming to Chattanooga on July 12 on a very similar mission. The famed Marine sergeant, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroics, will be the headline speaker at the Sixth Annual America Heroes Dinner in ... (click for more)