The noise of life
Why is it so hard to live in that reality? One author says its because we can’t break free from our internal reactive commentary…
“The reactive life is strengthened by those sudden spasms of talking, talking, talking, talking to ourselves about life and love and how everybody ought to behave and vote. This twittering chatter keeps the attention riveted to and identified with objects that appear in our minds.” p. 18, The Sunlit Absence, Martin Laird
He goes on to say that learning to be present to God in prayer is what sets us free.
How can we do that? He tells the story of a guy who tried to learn this by going on a silent prayer retreat. The only problem, every day a neighbor would fire up his saw in the garage and it literally rattled the walls of his room. He got so ticked off he almost exploded. Finally, after a few days another person (on his own prayer retreat in another room) went over and confronted the guy, yelling and screaming…
But something happened. The first guy began to see that knowing God is always working can happen in the midst of noise. The “loudest saw” can be our own internal commentary. Laird says in prayer we can “gradually move from being agitated victim to silent witness” meaning we can experience God at work.
Most days I’m like the guy who went over to confront the neighbor. I’m learning by experience- to witness God at work comes from being present to Him in prayer, all through the day. Easier said than done.