Confusion is a normal occurrence in the world today. There is too much data, images, events, happenings, and interactions for anyone to comprehend without help. If it would stop, the buffers in our minds could catch up. With the advent if television recordings, video websites, unlimited news archives, web search engines, and virtual technologies, there is little chance that anyone is ever free of the flow. It is orchestrated chaos without a conductor.
I do not see the flood of our senses ending anytime soon. I also do not believe that the tools and disciplines many suggest for controlling our response will help. I suggest that we take a different approach.
We can respond with understanding and empathy to a situation where one or more is confused. Just like the time when Peter “knocked on the door to the courtyard, [and] a young woman named Rhoda came to see who it was. But when she recognized his voice—Peter's voice!—she was so excited and eager to tell everyone Peter was there that she forgot to open the door and left him standing in the street.” (Acts 12.14) Peter patiently waited, knowing anger or frustration was not the answer.
We can supply the answer to confusion by listening and responding to the questions at hand. Just because it is evident to us does not mean it is obvious to anyone else.
We can seek moments of silence and reflection, separating our inner self from external sources. I know this is not always easy. Experience suggests that when we are free from things of this world we are able to hear God’s whispers. A walk without a cell phone or iPod is nurturing. A time of reflecting in the stillness of the night can heal. Letting go of the need to act and simply be often heals.
It today’s chaos, the Spirit gives us an invitation. At times this means unplugging from our virtual worlds. The quest to find a balance between action and reflection, decisions and learning, conversation and dialogue is not easy, but it is important.