by Loreena Thiessen
Has anyone ever said to you, “You are making too much noise”?
Your teacher may have said it. Or your mother: “Quiet, please! Don’t wake the baby!”
Noise is all around you. Some noise you can control. For example, in the classroom if you are too loud you may miss something important because you didn’t hear everything. So you work more quietly.
The library has rules: No talking! So that’s what you do; you read quietly.
At home you can create quiet times. You can turn off the noise from the TV, your IPad, and your games. Instead you can share news from your day. Supper time with your family will be more relaxing. You may learn something new from each other, too, rather than stare at a screen.
Doing your homework in a quiet spot is better too. Without noise you can focus completely on your assignment. Once you have finished your task, playing a game or listening to music can be your reward and you are free to enjoy it.
There is outside noise too, noise in our environment which you cannot control. The noise of car and truck motors, sirens, construction machines, and airplanes overhead fill the air all day long; you can’t get away from it.
Even in the ocean there is too much noise. Large ships moving their cargo to another part of the world create noise with their motors and propellers and horns. All this noise disturbs the development of small fish. They stop growing and to get away from the noise they drift away from their natural place in the ocean. Now big fish and whales can’t find enough food for themselves. Mother whales need quiet spots too, to rest with their babies so they can nurse and grow. Ocean noise makes quiet places harder to find. It damages both, the sea animals and their environment.
In order to survive, ocean creatures need less noise in their environment. Less noise is good for you too. Silence is calming; it settles you down and helps you relax. When all is quiet you can hear better; you will have better ideas, be more creative, and make better decisions. Studies show that silence is good for your brain, too. In a silent atmosphere your brain can grow more cells. This will help your memory, how you feel about something, and it will help you learn better.
Jesus needed quiet times too. He came to earth to teach people who God is. He taught them a new way, how to love each other, how to live honest lives and how to pray. He also healed them of their diseases. This is just what the people needed and crowds followed him. Yet Jesus also had to rest. He needed quiet to pray. He prayed in the desert, on mountain tops and in gardens away from the crowds. He needed the quiet times to talk to God and to renew his strength.
Read Mark 1:21-35.
Activity: Listening for different sounds.
Need: notebook; indoor sounds; outdoor sounds; a recording device if you have one.
Do: Find an indoor space where you hear different sounds. Make a list of the sounds.
Find an outdoor space where you hear different sounds. Make a list of those.
Some sounds are harsh, like sirens, and some are pleasant, like bird song. The tiny wren is especially delightful. If you record sounds you like you can replay them later to enjoy again.
Make sure you tell an adult about your activity and stay only in safe places.