OPINION: The still, small voice

By Tanner Babb


I have been reflecting on a C.S. Lewis quote this week, which comes from the book “Mere Christianity.” It says, “The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.”

I found this to be a great quote, but it caused me to feel unsettled. I felt unsettled because I realized that many of the distractions of today were not even around when C.S. Lewis wrote this book. Email, texting, the Internet, Pinterest, Facebook, Netflix or voicemails never distracted C.S. Lewis, one of the great Christian thinkers. I wonder how C.S. Lewis would have felt about all the additional noise that has invaded our lives.

Noise. That’s what technology has become for this generation. Technology is something to fill in the “empty” spaces in our lives. Moments between classes are filled with texting, Facebook and Pinterest. Evenings are filled with video games, Netflix and YouTube. The quiet joy of a run is even filled with technology as a student will “Map My Run” or listen to music on their iPod.
A passage of scripture that came to mind after considering this noise was 1 Kings 19:11-13, which is a story where Elijah experienced the presence of the Lord. In this passage, God showed Elijah a strong wind, an earthquake and a fire, but chose to speak to him in a gentle whisper or a still small voice. How well are students of today prepared to hear the voice of God? If God spoke to you in a still, small voice, would you hear? Or, would the noise of today drown out the still small voice that might answer those questions you have been asking?

If you want to hear the still small voice of God, I encourage you to turn off your technology and find some quiet time with God, away from the distractions of life and the noise that is so prevalent in our society. In all my years, I have yet to meet a student who felt like God answered their major life questions through texting, Facebook or Netflix. I encourage you to take a week, maybe over a break, and do a media fast. Give up the technology for a week, and see if you can more clearly hear the voice of God in your life.

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