Fasting, Black Holes, and the Death Star

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black hole

Legendary film sound designer Ben Burtt, who has worked on five decades of films ranging from the Indiana Jones series to WALL-E, has talked about his philosophy of the “audio black hole.”

When doing sound effects work for a film, if possible, he inserts a brief moment of silence immediately before a particularly loud or emphatic moment. This, he says, is his idea of the audio black hole – it allows your ears to attune to silence briefly so that the following moment is even more powerful. In the climactic scene of Star Wars Episode IV, just before the explosion of the Death Star, there is an oh-so-short moment of silence that catches the listener by surprise.


Fasting is like that. It’s time to pause and re-attune ourselves to God’s voice. So much conspires to distract us from what God is saying… Music. Television. Facebook. Twitter. Friends. Work. And oftentimes, food. Fasting helps us learn to listen outside of our appetites. Taking the time to stop, pause, tell ourselves and our distractions “no.” We can get reattuned to the “still, small voice” that Elijah heard on the mountaintop. We shut it all out and wait.


God speaks, and we hear him more clearly than ever.