By Pastor Andy Plank
Listening to the Right Voice
February 12, 2023
Someone once said, “I hate hearing the voices in my head but sometimes, I have to admit, they have great ideas.” Whether we will own up to it or not, we all hear voices, and our minds are bombarded daily by all the noise those voices create. From the voice that says, “You can’t wear that shirt with those pants” to the one who mocks, “You messed up again…you’re so stupid” those voices in our mind help to contribute to our mood, self-esteem, and overall outlook on life. Sometimes, as Christ followers, we hear more voices than those who are not following Christ. Not only do we hear the voices of this world clamoring for us to hear them, but we also have the voice of the Holy Spirit trying to speak over the cacophony of voices competing for our attention. So, what are we to do with all these voices? How do we hear the Master’s voice when we can’t even hear ourselves think? First, we need to learn to shut out the excess noise. I heard that quarterback Aaron Rodgers is going to spend four days at a “darkness retreat”. Not only did I not know what a darkness retreat was, I didn’t even know such a thing existed until I heard about the Packers quarterback going to one. Being a curious person, I went to the most reliable source of information known to mankind, the internet, to find out what a darkness retreat was. Apparently, I am not the only curious person because when I typed the word “darkness” into Google, “Darkness Retreat” was the first choice that popped up. So, what is a darkness retreat you ask? According to Rodgers, he’ll be staying in “a little house” in complete darkness and silence. “Just myself in isolation,” he said, per Yahoo Sports. The athlete added that, while you can leave anytime you want, the goal is to remain inside the dark little house all alone, though he’ll receive food from the retreat through a “two-way slot.” He explained, “It’s just sitting in isolation, meditating, being with your thoughts. It stimulates (your mind), but it’s just kinda sitting in silence, which most of us rarely do.” Now that you know what it is, you might be asking what in the world does a darkness retreat have to do with anything even remotely spiritual? Hang on, I’m getting there! While I know next to nothing about darkness retreats, I do know that for a Christian living in the twenty-first century, keeping our minds clear of clutter is a challenge. Perhaps we would do well to get off by ourselves to a quiet place and clear our minds of everything. Everything that is except Jesus. The difference in Eastern meditation (the kind that Rodgers practices) and Christian meditation is the purpose. Eastern meditation seeks to empty the mind of all thoughts. Christian meditation seeks to empty the mind of all thoughts that aren’t about Jesus. If all we are thinking about is Jesus, we will learn to recognize His voice and when we can recognize His voice, we will be able to hear it above all the other worldly noise. The voice of Jesus is a voice we need to learn to recognize. Let’s get busy!
Be blessed and be a blessing . . . Bro. Andy