Be Quiet — You’ll Be Surprised at What You Hear!

2 Kgs 17:5-8, 13-15, 18 / Mt 7:1-5

Not so long ago, I found myself trapped in a long, unavoidable, and thoroughly inconsequential meeting, and the refrain of an old song began running through my mind: “Yakety yak, yakety yak”!

For most of our waking hours, we are surrounded by the insistent chatter of people trying to get our attention to sell us, persuade us, warn us, and blame us. And most of it we don’t want and don’t need to hear. So we develop the habit of tuning out and escaping into daydreams and out-of-the-body experiences.

It works well, once you get the hang of it, but it has a downside: It becomes a blind habit. We tune out indiscriminately, we become inattentive to life, and we miss a lot of what we need to hear. As often happens, what starts out as a useful self-defense evolves into an act of self-destruction, and we find ourselves in the same spot as the Israelites in today’s Old Testament reading: We fail to hear the alarms and we get caught up in the disaster.

There’s a better way to defend ourselves from life’s intrusive noises, and that is to create a quiet inner place where we can hear the things that really matter, the things the Spirit knows and tells our hearts when we listen.

Take charge of those outer noises — you can manage most of them if you decide to. And spend more time inside. You’ll be surprised at what you hear and what you learn from the Spirit, if you’ve learned how to create QUIET!