“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” — Psalm 23:2
People, like boats, sound their horn the loudest when they’re in a fog. This timely truth especially fits the day in which we are living. The world has never been so filled with noise as it is today!
For young men in the south, a regular car exhaust is not enough. Customized exhausts are now necessary so that the car will leap away from a stoplight with a deafening roar. Civilian and military aircraft take off from American runways screaming like a banshee. I-pods give out the top tunes, sung at the top of some bandleader’s lungs. Our password for technology seems to be, “One big noise.”
Is it possible that much of this noise shows how confused and empty we really are? We don’t feel very sure of ourselves. We feel insecure and a little scared of the future, so we turn up the volume—on everything! If things are going full blast, the voice of our inner misgivings cannot be heard so easily.
A man I knew several years ago was told by his doctor that he was incurably ill and that he had but a short time to live. My friend answered an advertisement for employment as a director of a youth center just south of London.
When I asked him why he would pursue such a responsibility in his condition he said, “Since I’m looking into the face of death, I want to go somewhere where there is life, and plenty of it! I’m just afraid of the stillness.”
It is tragic that some people must turn to noise and strong action when life backs them into a corner. How tragic it is that some of us do not have inner reserves upon which we may depend when we are in trouble.
When we turn to God in the midst of our problems, He does not give us His help accompanied by a brass band. He helps us as we lift up our eyes to the hills or as we permit Him to lead us “beside the still waters.”
The next time you feel overwhelmed by discouragement, seek out some quiet place and give God a chance to speak to you. David, who wrote the twenty-third psalm, was a man of action if ever there was one. He was a mighty leader, yet he was wise enough to follow the guidance of the Lord who led him into paths of quietness where his spirit could be refreshed and strengthened.