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What a gift our ears are! What a myriad of sounds surround us.

Imagine, if you will, a world with only beautiful sounds. Imagine that wherever you are, there is music to be heard. Even in the midst of the clamor of life, there are sounds to be enjoyed.

Imagine, and listen. Listen to the sounds around you. Listen for the ones you don’t even realize are there . . . you may just find yourself surrounded by the music of our Lord.

Thankful for some warm spring weather, I spent the afternoon in my yard trimming, digging and planting. That is until my strength gave out and the shade on my patio beckoned me to rest. Head back against my cushioned chair, eyes closed, and trying not to moan at all the places that hurt, I found myself savoring the sounds of my yard.

A breeze caressed my face and soothed my tired body. Swaying trees sang the song of the wind. Gentle sounds of air whispering through the branches brought comfort.

I was determined to quiet the voices in my head . . . and listen.

The largest of our wind chimes’ long pipes resonated in a low comforting hum. Velvet tones of the midrange pipes soon added their voices. Finally the melodic sounds of the shorter pipes completed the symphony, and I was richer for being in that place at that moment . . . and listening.

Though always tempted to focus on the unavoidable, irritating buzzing that has become a constant in my inner ear, I somehow was able to distract my senses and focus on other sounds around me. Beautiful, God-authored sounds.

Cardinals chirping. Doves cooing. Wind surging through the treetops as the wind chime symphony began its second movement. Unaware of the aching in my joints and the noise in my ears.  I was at peace . . . listening to the music of my Lord.

What do you hear this day? What are you choosing to listen to as you maneuver through the hours? Where are you centering your attention?

Focus, so much of life depends on our focus.

Yes, I have only a minor hearing loss. (Well, enough to drive my children batty as I ask again and again what they just said. You’d think having the volume at max on my cell phone would do the trick. But at least I am not answering to words I think they said . . . at least not yet!) Yet a hearing loss that is proving to be annoying and somewhat disconcerting.

Gratefully though, neither that loss nor the pulsating buzz keeps me from being able to function in my world. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to be as ‘present’ or consuming. But other times it is maddening, especially to one who is most able to center spiritually when immersed in silence.

Finding that silence has become more difficult as the buzzing grows louder in these years, thanks to over twenty years of-in-my face marching band brass players each fall and groups of brass players and concert bands each spring. All absorbed without knowledge about what loud decibel levels can do to one’s hearing over time. {Ears, what a gift they are . . . protect yours.}

So today, I am choosing to focus on the sounds that are pleasing. Shut out the clamor in my ears. Ignore my screaming thumb joints, aching knees, and throbbing neck.

And listen for my Lord, who graciously is speaking in the sounds of the outdoors and within my soul.

What do you hear . . . ?