This past summer we spent three straight days in Disneyland with Becca’s side of the family. As was expected we had a blast and are already looking forward to going back this coming summer. Though, there’s something that has stayed with me since we left the parks. It was the quiet that we encountered when we got back to Becca’s parents house after the three days of madness. It hit me then how overstimulating Disneyland is from the amount of people to the subtle background music to the full on in your face imagery like fireworks, parades, and Disney characters. The quiet that we encountered after this was incredibly refreshing and much needed. Though, I didn’t realize how much I needed it until I was completely out of the Disney environment.
I’ve seen messages that emphasize that the church should glean something from Disney in regards to the way in which they can hold people’s attention. This point is well taken, especially as it relates to the art of preaching. But I confess I don’t want my attention held, I want it to disappear in God. I’d rather have quiet. It seems like that’s a dangerous commodity these days. Quiet, that is. I know, it is a little weird referring to it as a commodity but I’ve got a 3 year old and a 1 year old. In my world it really seems like it’s something I must trade and invest in given how little of it there is.
Quiet and stillness are truly countercultural in a culture that runs on production and consumption and wears busyness as a badge of honor. To be quiet, to take a step back means to be missing out on something of importance. For only the important are out there because they worked hard to get noticed. They produced and have thereby been rewarded. It’s fascinating, you know? We consume never to be satisfied, only to move on to the next thing. We spend hours Tweeting, sharing, liking and updating only to be more miserable than before. Yet we continue on like the hardest worker in the world; the junkie. Motivated by the next hit of dopamine.
And oddly, we already have what we need. We just struggle to realize it. Is that not the problem that compels the person to become a junkie, to go looking for more? I lack, therefore I must fill. But with what? Noise? Distraction? Maybe Jung was right about us after all when he wrote,
“People will do anything no matter how absurd to avoid facing their own psyches.”