Thursday, November 7, 2013


by Tim Howard

Neil Diamond sings a song called ‘Beautiful Noise’ and it’s my grandson’s favorite. I like it too because it’s upbeat, fun and exudes a whole lot of joy.

Some of the lyrics to this song are: “What a beautiful noise – Coming up from the street – It's got a beautiful sound – It's got a beautiful beat – It's a beautiful noise – Going on everywhere – Like the clickety-clack of a train on a track – It's got rhythm to spare – It's a beautiful noise – and it's a sound that I love…”

I remember my first time sitting in an outdoor café in Manhattan. I was having my first Latté ever, while watching all the activity and hearing the sounds of people, cars, horns, chatter and a myriad of other noises. In it’s own way, it was beautiful.

I’ve always enjoyed being in places where there’s laughter, lots of people, lots of life and lots of activity but there’s some drawbacks. Sometimes noise, no matter how beautiful, can become a distraction.

It’s possible to get so obsessed with noise that a person doesn’t know how to deal with silence. When we are in our cars we tend to turn the radio on or put in our favorite CD. When talking to strangers, we feel awkward if there is silence so we fill the space with empty verbiage. I know people who very seldom turn their televisions off at home because the sounds fill the air.

Noise can be like a drug. It can be used to mask loneliness. It can block out unwanted thoughts or used as an escape from the pressures of the day. More importantly, it can hinder you from hearing God’s voice – speaking to you!

A verse found in Psalms 46:10 states:  “Be still, and know that I am God.” If a person wants to know the Creator, there will need to be times of stillness, silence and solitude.

According to Mark 1:35 we are told that Jesus got up very early in the morning, while it was still dark, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he talked to His Father. This happened many times throughout His life.

What if our culture put into law a mandatory daily ‘Siesta’? What if we turned off the radios and televisions and stopped all the noise at specific times? What if we followed the example of Jesus, who set aside times for solitude and withdrew from the noise?  Maybe, just maybe we would hear the beautiful sound of God speaking to us. Now that’s a beautiful noise.

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