by Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
What type of music do you like?
I have a varied musical taste. However, most of the time when flying I put on my noise canceling headphones and listen to the great classical tunes that the world has known for many years.
There is nothing better in my mind that listening to Mozart, Haydn or Handel. Beethoven is one that also tops the list. I find myself humming along, tapping my fingers and acting like I am playing the songs.
The story of Beethoven is most unique.
Beethoven was completely deaf by the time he was in his mid-forties. He had composed great music before that time, but his greatest music was composed after he was completely deaf. He had been influenced by Joseph Haydn, but his greatest influence came from a time when he couldn’t hear the other music of the day and he was alone with his thoughts.
He wasn’t influence at all by the other things going on in the music world at the time.
Instead, his imagination and memory of how notes sounded was all he had to go on. He could write an entire symphony without hearing a single note. His biographer wrote, “Deafness did not impair and indeed may have heightened his abilities as a composer.” Yale music professor Craig Wright said that his originality “rests in the sounds his disability forced him to hear internally.”
Today we are bombarded by sound. Most of the time it is noise.
The news bombards us with the latest gore or political chatter. Our smart phones chirp at us with news alerts and sports scores. Social media has either tales of woe or amazing vacation pictures of someone else enjoying life while we sit in the office.
There are so many things that entire our consciousness that we don’t always know the difference between real or fake. Our play list is a confused jumbled mess.
Most people today cannot stand to be in silence. Back in the 17th century Blaise Pascal wrote, “All human misfortune comes from. . . not knowing how to remain quietly in one room.” That was written at a time when there were no televisions, no smart phones, radios and no rushing traffic.
Life has only gotten louder since then.
I Kings 19 tells the story of Elijah who let the noise of the world affect him.
He had just watched God do a mighty miracle at Mt. Carmel as fire fell from heaven and consumed the sacrifice.
He had spent extended time praying for rain and had seen the skies open up and break the long drought. The power of false prophets was broken.
Yet when he heard that Jezebel wanted to kill him that caused him to flee. Even when he was there on the mountain there was the noise of an earthquake and fire happening all around him. Then in the silence of the cave he finally heard a still small voice.
The voice of God talking to him and telling him what God wanted him to do next. In that quiet moment Elijah was reassured by God that God still had a plan for him.
What about you? What is on your play list? What chatter is taking place in your head that gets you depressed?
There is no doubt that the evil one wants to get on your play list and drown out anything good that God wants to tell you. Let’s combat the noise by stopping, turning off, and sit in quietness reflecting on the goodness of God. Let’s combat the world’s play list by quiet moments with the Bible.
Let’s combat the drumbeat of the world by time in prayer and listening for and to what God has in store for us.
May God continue to be the main thing on your play list.