Grinch List #14: Noise
The last few Decembers I have made a Grinch List– things that I would steal from the holiday season if I could. This year I’m going to try to turn that list into something positive. Along with the reasons I am annoyed by each item, I will try to find a solution–an angle to adjust the way I feel about it in order to celebrate the season appropriately. I can’t promise I will change my mind about anything, but I can attempt to change my attitude.
Christmas time is unbelievably noisy. Traffic, crowds, music, jingle bells, Salvation Army ringers, phone solicitors, and advertisements are all in full force. Apparently merriment is only available at 90 decibels or greater. Just when no creatures are stirring the red guy gets involved with clattering about on the rooftop.
Have you ever lay in bed completely exhausted but unable to fall asleep because of some small noise? I have no problem turning off a squeaky fan, shutting down a computer, or waiting out a police siren. The real problem is when the noise is inside of my own brain. A problem from the day, an upcoming decision, a to-do list for tomorrow, a poor choice I made, a mishandled conversation, a missed opportunity, a pending project all scream through my mind. This mental racket is louder than any siren or bell. There is no off switch when our schedules are full of Christmas activities, deadlines, shopping, and normal life. It just keeps amplifying in an endless feedback loop…louder, shriller, more chaotic, demanding more of you physically and mentally as the season progresses.
Perhaps that’s why the idea of peace is so prevalent during this hectic season. Perhaps the third verse of Silent Night contains the secret—the only source of inner peace, the only way to achieve silence of the mind, is the redeeming grace that was revealed along with the birth of our Savior.
Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.