One of the challenges of living in the Internet and smart phone age is that people have grown accustomed to constant interaction and entertainment. Imagine standing in line at Publix (our local grocery store in Florida): if people are waiting, they typically pull out their cell phones.
Yesterday, the New York Knicks did something different. They cut out the extra noise, music and entertainment people have grown used to during any major league event.
Consider the typical game experience: a constant stream of music, dancing, t-shirt cannons, blimps dropping gifts, scoreboard videos, greetings from the players and commercials.
The Knicks presented the game, in the first half, similar to what people would have experienced 40 years ago. The reactions from players was negative, including this from Draymond Green, according to ESPN:
“Did you see that first half?” he asked. “It was just bad, sloppy, all over the place. There was no rhythm to the game. All this stuff makes a difference in a game, believe it or not. You get in a rhythm. … You turn on music, it just helps you get into a certain area, takes you to a certain place. I don’t think they were doing it to, like, throw us off, but it definitely threw the entire game off. They need to trash it. That’s exactly what they need to do.”
He attributed bad play to the lack of music. It changed their “rhythm.”
I’m sure Green will get criticized (fairly or unfairly) but I want to take a moment to use his comments as a mirror. We, in general, have gotten so used to a constant stream of noise, music, TV, and interaction with our phones that we have trouble being still.
What if I went a day without noise? No music, sports talk radio, TV or even interaction on the web. What would my day look like? I might feel like my rhythm was disrupted as well.
This is concerning. I’ve been interacting with some of the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality materials from Peter Scazzero over the past couple months and I realize how immature I really am. Scazzero challenges us to balance out a quest for emotional health with contemplative spirituality. Those periods of quiet and contemplation have been missing from my own faith journey.
I’m making some changes. My morning devotions now include quiet and listening. I’m not there yet. I’m a baby when it comes to this. But I encourage you to think about your day, and how often you’re quiet. And how do you react when you’re forced into to quiet and disconnection from devices?
Can you handle the quiet? If not, why not?