How do we cut through the noise?
The Grinch starring Jim Carrey is a family favorite: no matter how many times we see it, it always elicits belly laughs. The movie has no shortage of memorable lines but one that tops my list is the Grinch’s maddened exclamation:
Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
That’s one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!
Roger that, Mr. Grinch. Oh, the Noise. Christmas carols on repeat. The word “Mom” on repeat. The beeping of the card machine telling me to REMOVE CARD on repeat.
The noise goes deeper than that, though. It’s not only all around us; it’s inside us, driving us crazy from the center of our very own brains. The noise in my head is deafening—and exhausting. I don’t blame my brain: it’s on overdrive because of the heightened demands placed on it this month. And yet, this is not what Christmas is about. That one merits a repeat: This is not what Christmas is about.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, a time of profound anticipation and personal readiness. How do we balance the contradictory demands of the season? How do we find true stillness amidst the inevitable busyness and silent reflection amidst the noise? Doing so requires resolve, discipline, and heightened vigilance. Rituals help. Reflective reading helps. Scheduled time for prayer helps.
What else? How do we effectively cut through the noise while still embracing the joy? How do we slice our way to Peace on Earth?