Noise. It's all around us. In the industrialized world we are becoming saturated with it. Along with noise comes distractions. I am acutely aware of that now even more so. Apparently one of the side-effects of my SAH is a diminished loss of the ability to filter out noise. Over time I have learned to compensate somewhat but it can still be very difficult at times when I am in places where there are several conversations and such going on at the same time.
I didn't notice this when I was in the hospital. I was in ICU most of the time in a private room so there was little interaction with anyone except a few visitors and medical personal. As soon as I was thrust into the "real" world, I wanted to cover my ears and howl. Going to a store, going to a restaurant, going to church, going any place where there was more than one conversation going on at the same time was agony for me. I heard everything it seemed and it was extremely awkward and uncomfortable. It made talking and listening extremely difficult.
Normally, we learn to filter out what we need to hear and what we do not need to hear. Imagine a playground that is filled with children. A group of parents are deep in conversation seemingly oblivious to the noise and happy shouts of the children around them. Suddenly at the sound of a single cry, one parent looks up and leaves the group. Amidst all of the noise and confusion, they just heard the cry of their child. It appeared they had been oblivious to the noise but they are tuned in to the voice of their child.
After my SAH, I lost my ability to filter out what was pertinent to me and what was not and was tuned in to everything. It was not pleasant and though that happened 18 months ago, testing has shown that I still have a high level of distractability. I am simply having to learn to live with it.
The enemy desires to keep us distracted from God. We will be bombarded with so much "noise" in our world that we must stop and make a conscious effort to listen. We must take the time to stop... and be still... and listen for the voice of God.