Noise surrounds us at every turn. Each moment countless voices compete for our attention, and without our knowing it they can slowly begin to mold our thoughts and shape our path. The voices in our lives may very well determine our destiny.
The reality is that the world speaks to us all the time, so we need to be intentional about which voices we will accept as credible and which ones we will ignore. Behind everything we read is a source, a person who created it; and his/her message arrives with a bias and often an agenda. Facebook, Twitter, books, online articles, television shows, friends, family, and communities all have the potential to change our lives – for the better or worse.
So this time as I do my personal year-in-review I am not only focusing on last year’s accomplishments but also paying particular attention to the voices that influenced me. Did they challenge me to grow? Were they empowering? Did they help me become a more loving, compassionate person? And, as a Christian, the most important question is, “Did they lead me to a deeper relationship with Christ?”
Relationships take time, communication, and being present. For me, I have made it a priority to create space to start each morning in devotion, Bible study, and prayer – to spend uninterrupted time with God. I also continually strive to shut out the noise that often creeps in on Facebook or the Internet throughout the day. Elevating God’s voice above others is a challenge in my distracted world, but it will continue to be an ongoing pursuit for the rest of my life.
In this new year, my hope and prayer is that God’s voice will be the one you also seek above all others.
What were the most influential voices for you in 2016? What will they be in 2017?