The Super Bowl Silence Heard ‘Round the World

When does thirty seconds of silence capture the world’s attention? When it costs around five million dollars. The half-minute of dead time during the Super Bowl was intended to be used for local channels. Something went wrong. But maybe our knee jerk reaction shows us that something is wrong. Here’s what I mean.

The philosopher Pascal said that man’s greatest problem is that he is distracted. We use pleasures to keep our minds preoccupied. We don’t want to deal with the deeper issues of life. Silence makes us face ourselves. We don’t like it.

Perhaps we need to heed the advice of the famed children’s program personality Mr. Rogers. When he accepted his lifetime achievement award he asked the audience to take ten seconds of silence to think of people for whom they were thankful. He looked at his watch. For ten seconds, while he had the mic, during his once-in-a-lifetime-moment, while everyone was listening, he said nothing. I think he was driving home the message displayed in his work office, “What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Let’s follow Mr. Rogers’ example and find a few moments today to be still, to be quiet. Let’s not allow the face paced world to keep us from reflecting on what matters most. “Be still,” the Bible reminds us, “and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). Now that’s something worth shutting our mouths, muting our electronics, quieting our souls, and thinking about.

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Check out this new book “Life in the Wild: Fighting for Faith in a Fallen World” by my friend @dandewitt (amzn.to/2DGRuhu)