On Monday, after a three-day weekend, I was close to being late for signing into my virtual desktop and starting the workday. I dashed into the kitchen for coffee. That first sip of coffee went down smoothly. I paused and noticed the calendar on the fridge read June. I started to flip it to July and saw June’s verse: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7.
As might you know, I have a serotonin deficiency and have difficulty with oversensitive senses. Noise, lights, fragrances, textures, and strong flavors can send me into a tailspin. Staying home for the virus crisis has been a respite from the sensory overload of the outside world.
Have you ever thought about how much we depend on our senses? How much sensory input can we take in? Even I, the modern-day princess and the pea found the quiet unsettling at first. Why hasn’t someone texted me? Have they forgotten me at work? What are my friends doing tonight? When can I go to the store and laugh with the cashiers?
At first, I overdid it with podcasts, videos, jigsaw puzzles, and solitaire. Then slowly I moved farther away from the noise. This is where God began asking me to sit in His presence. I wouldn’t call myself a contemplative but I’m paying attention to God better than I ever have in my life.
Now there is still plenty of noise to find. I have to turn off my internet pleasures, radio, and stay away from the news. It is all noise. I am learning to not engage in idle speech. That one is hard for me. I don’t know many people wordier than me! It is all noise and it shoves God to the back of my mind. When that happens I wonder why it is so hard to hear his voice or sit in his presence.
Imagine if you sat your best friend in the room next to yours and tried to have a conversation. That is what I feel like I am doing to Jesus. He is my friend but when I am praying, with the radio on, and talking to someone on the phone. How can I hear the Holy Spirit’s guidance? I can’t.
“For we walk by faith, not sight,” I found power in these few words. If I don’t walk by faith I am overwhelmed by the noise of yelling voices, children against their parents, political screams, and medical calls for fear. The sights can be just as bad; burning buildings, beatings, political taunts, and hatred spewed from the mouths of babes. What is the opposite of all this fear? For me, it is faith.
I looked up the definition of Faith. Encarta Dictionary (North America) defines faith as Belief or trust; Religion or religious group; and Trust in God. I prefer the Bible’s definition in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
People say I am foolish for closing my eyes and ears to what is going on in the world right now. I can do nothing to stop it. It is not in my power. What I can do is to shut off most of the sensory overload and then talk to my Heavenly Father.
He is the one with the power to change the world. No, I can’t see Him. I know Him. And my faith is in Him.
Join me in turning down the noise and talking with the Father today. He is our Hope.
P.S. References are from the New King James Version.