NOISE – AN ESCAPE:
One of my family’s favorite movies is “RV” starring Robin Williams. A hilarious scene is when the family is on the road and Robin’s character, “Bob”, is driving. The other three members of the family each have their own headsets on and are singing loudly to their individual music. The mom was singing “Little GTO”, while the kids were rapping and singing different songs. But not “Bob”, the driver. The level of noise rose higher and higher as they would each get louder and louder, trying to drown out the other bad singing. This trip was supposed to be a fun family event, but at the moment, it was more comical to the viewer than to “Bob” the driver. While they were busy in their own heads with the noise of music that drowned out their family who surrounded them, they were missing out on building relationships that were right next to them, and hearing what the driver wanted to say.
Last weekend my family and I drove to Nashville, Tennessee for my mother-in-law’s birthday. The irony is, we experienced the exact same scenario as we were driving! The rest of my family each had their own music playing while they hummed, sang, or tapped along, and I was trying to read my Bible. I just could NOT focus with all of that noise! I struggled to read through one page, and had to reread it about four times just to remember what I had read. The noise level was a very big distraction for me. For them, it occupied their individual time in the car. For me, I couldn’t focus and was alone. Still, I chuckled as I recalled that movie scene and compared it to our current situation!
The same can be said of our life. We tend to play our music, whether its Christian music, rock or country, with the idea that it will fill our time and give us a noise we need to drown out the quiet, or shield us from having to interact with those around us.
Maybe we need that quiet sometimes, for a few minutes, every day….
Perhaps the Lord wants to speak to us, but we can’t hear Him over the praise and worship music that is always on, or over our busyness of helping others because our minds are overwhelmed by “doing”.
The Lord’s voice is not always booming thunder on a mountain. Usually it is a quiet voice that we can only hear when we are still…and listening.
He does not want to compete with other things in our life.
NOISE – POLLUTION:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
I often wonder what our prayers sound like to God. With millions of people praying, are the majority of our prayers asking for things out of selfishness, which when all of those prayers are put together they might sound like irritating static? Or, are most prayers ultimately for His glory?
The sounds we make fill the air – are they positive or negative?
Are they helpful or hurtful, honest or a lie?
Our words, our voices, our intent…
Be careful – the evil one loves strife among believers, and the sounds of discord brings about a demonic grin across his face along with music to his twisted ears, while they also bring about sadness on the Lord’s face while His ears might just to tune us out.
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!”
Maybe the Lord wants to speak to us, but due to our noise of gossip, or inappropriate humor, or saying unkind things to our spouse and children, He has decided to wait, or not speak at all.
NOISE – OUR PRAISE:
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”
When we are all gathered together in His name on Sundays, or at any time when we join in worship, and we are singing our hearts out and lifting our hands to our Heavenly Father, imagine the joy that God must feel to hear that sound! Scripture says He inhabits the praises of His people. He dwells in the sound of our praise!
The noise of the greatest concert of all time, the crowds cheering with the band’s speakers blaring, cannot remotely compare to what it will sound like in heaven!!
Food for thought: “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.”
~ Max Ehrmann, from the poem “Desiderata” (1927)
“These go to eleven.”
~ Nigel Tufnel (about the volume knob on his amplifier) in This is Spinal Tap (1984)
Fun facts: It’s a tie for the largest attendance of any concert in recorded history: 1. Rod Stewart – New Years Eve, 1994, at Copacabana Beach – 3.5 million people. 2. Jean Michel Jarre – Moscow, 1997 – 3.5 million people.
Photo by: Antonis Spiridaki – Abandoned headphones