Saturday, July 11, 2015

Listen To The Sound

My wife is away on vacation this week. Usually, we tend to go places together but one week out of the year we take separate vacations for a short amount of time. She goes to Door County on a shopping, hiking and reading trip. I attend Lifest, a Christian music festival - an eating, worshiping, sleep deprivation trip. Each of us is doing something we like, but something the other spouse does not.

Although I like hiking and reading, shopping is WAY down there on my list of fun things to do. On the other hand, rock music doesn't thrill my wife either. Nor does hanging around with a bunch of teenagers. So we have chosen to spend some temporary time apart, to better enjoy our times together. Does that make sense?

As I write this I am sitting in a screen tent at Lifest. The sound of a mini-generator running next door, a distant train whistle, and the constant thumping of the bass drum sound check from the main stage. Pretty quiet compared to Thursday night's Newsboys concert.

There HAVE been moments when it has been quiet too. There was one at 3:47 AM and another at 4:23AM but other than that there is always some kind of noise present.  Do you have a lot of "noise" in your life? To me noise is something you don't necessarily want to hear.

My alarm clock is "noise." The generator running next door to our tent is "noise." What about last night's speeches here at Lifest? Noise? No. More like . . . music." Tony Nolan, Michael Tate and Matthew West all gave amazing talks last night. Reminders of the sweet music of God and His Word.

So how can we get rid of all the "noise" in our lives. Several three-word combinations come to mind.

  1. "Turn It Off!" - Many things can actually be turned off . . . like the annoying generator next door. I am seriously just about to get up to practice what I preach! With love of course.
  2. "Drown It Out!" -Replace the "noise" with something else. I think this reason is why we see so many people walking around with headphones and ear buds in their ears. Listening to something other than what the world wants to hear.
  3. "Turn It Up!" - Some people love the "noise." I am not one of them, but there ARE people who actually love the annoying "noise." And actually, they like to make the annoying noise themselves. They tend to compound the noise.
  4. "Rebel Against It" -  Some people don't like the noise and let people know about it. They have their own opinion of how much "noise" there should be. Unless the ambient noise level matches their expectations, they complain and attack. They don't like things that are different than them. And they let people know about it.
  5. "Rejoice In It!" - We have all had people in our lives who are rather negative. They produce a kind of "negative noise" all on their own. We could fight back in anger but what's the point? If we can find joy in the "noise" it is much easier to survive
Everyone makes their own kind of "noise." How we choose to deal with it defines who we are as a human being.

Recently, someone attacked me for what I believe. My faith was "noise" to them. So what did I do? First, I tried to convince them that my faith wasn't "noise" at all. That failed. See Point 4 above. So I chose to embrace this person's "noise" as a learning experience - a means of growth in an entire world of "noise."

We Christians are here to learn and to grow. We are often given "noise" so God can see how we handle it. When things don't go your way, what do you do? Whine and complain? Just try to ignore it? Or do you try finding the silver lining and use the "noise" to your advantage.

How we react to the struggles we have in this life define us. We can tell a lot about ourselves if we examine how we react in "noisy" situations. We need to examine ourselves and ask these question in ANY noise-filled moment in our lives:

"How is God going to use this to teach me something?"

"What can I learn from this that will help me grow in Christ?"

God's will for us is to grow into the image of His Son. We all learn and grow through experiences. If the end result of some "noise" we are encountering is that we will become more like Jesus on the other end of things, how can we do anything else other than to embrace it!

We all make "noise." Examine yourself. Is the noise YOU are making a pleasing aroma to the Lord?

"14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?" - 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

Listen To The Sound - Building 429

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