First, I stressed the importance of silence to an overflowing room of teens.
“Turn off your phones, take your headphones out of your ears”.
“Sit no more than three to a pew when we enter the church”.
We were heading in to the Church sanctuary for adoration. I had just tried to explain the difference between what truly satisfies us and what doesn’t. I tried to tell a generation that has grown up living behind a screen that there is more to life.
I don’t know if they heard me or not–but mine isn’t the voice they really need to hear.
The voice we all to hear is God’s.
We hear that we need the latest phone/computer/tablet/car/jeans/(insert word)/to make us happy–yet our happiness doesn’t last long. Like sheep, we are herded in one direction after another–vote for this person, vote for that person, hate on this celebrity, love on this one, eat this way, eat that way, wear this, wear that, love this, hate this–it never ends, and we never stop consuming.
The message we hear is that we never have enough, so we continue to grab at more. We follow those who yell the loudest.
We keep looking in all the wrong places.
Whether we realize it or not, God is the difference between what satisfies us and what doesn’t.
God: His presence; His plan; His life; He satisfies us and sustains us. Over and over again, God satisfies.
- When the Israelites are fleeing Egypt and are wandering in the desert starving, God satisfies. “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat…every one had enough to eat.” Exodus 16:15, 18
- When King David is living in exile, in the desert, he cries out to God and God satisfies. “O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting. My body pines for you like a dry, weary, land without water…My soul shall be satisfied as with a Banquet.” Palm 63:1,6
- When the crowds had followed Jesus for over three days with nothing to eat, “They ate and were satisfied.” Matthew 15:37
- Jesus Himself is the Bread of Life and He satisfies. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
We entered the Church in silence. We sat in silence.
Be as quiet as possible, I said.
Try to focus on nothing other than Jesus.
Tell him what you are thinking.
Let him gaze on you.
Try not to move.
They were silent. I saw some tears.
Finally, they were quiet enough to hear.
And then…the silence was broken with the ring of a phone.
And once again, I am reminded that I, too, consume too much.
I, too, need to turn off my screens and experience the life that is in front of me.
I, too, need to be quiet.
I, too, need to listen.