Unfortunately, I have tinnitus. It is that issue where you have a continuous ringing in your ears. For me, it is not a loud ringing and I am thankful for that. Yet, it is annoying for sure and there are times when it is hard to ignore. For some people, it is louder and is a constant distraction that they cannot ignore.
Life in the western world (especially) is plagued by “spiritual tinnitus.” Think about it. We live awash in a sea of distraction. Politics, smart phones, Netflix, Hulu, facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets devour our time and our attention. If you add to that, a struggle to get ahead vocationally… or finish well in college… or participate in that sport you enjoy… or… or.. or. I think you get the picture.
Do you think it is coincidence that we live in such a world? I don’t think so. Now, the things listed above are not inherently evil. I believe each of them can be enjoyed or used wisely. Yet, if we stack up enough of them – one atop another – it is easy to see how they can own all our available time. Then, the truly important “spiritual” things – that should occupy our minds – get pushed out by that constant buzz generated by the world and the one who attempts to lord over it. Don’t forget that the devil is “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). If we are not careful, that old serpent will “lead our thoughts astray from a pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). Yes indeed, it is a design of the devil to keep us all so busy with one thing or another, that we become detached from the Kingdom of God and the precepts that wait for us there.
So, where am I going with this little article? Let me finish by telling you what is necessary to overcome the tinnitus that I struggle with. I have learned to refocus my attention on other sounds and when I am successful in doing this, the ringing sounds get quieter and fade out into the background of my mind. In order to do the same with spiritual tinnitus, we must do the same. Take your focus off all of the distractions mentioned above (facebook, cable TV, Netflix, etc.) and replace them by focusing on the voice of God, which you will hear (metaphorically) through studying the Bible, adopting a consistent prayer life, listening to spiritual music, and meditating on His Kingdom’s work.
For some who read this article, the whole idea of re-prioritizing your life in this way will seem odd. However, if you do, I am convinced that your life will be enriched in a way that will surprise you (James 4:8). Try it. You won’t be disappointed.