Turn it down!
A young man once asked a pastor why bad things happen to good people. The pastor thought for a while and responded; There are many reasons, but I will like to share an unusual one with you.
One of the reasons God permits bad things to happen to people generally not just the good ones, is that their loudest noise needs to be turned down. The young man was confused and asked what this means. To illustrate this, the pastor asked the young man to turn on a music on his phone and increase the volume to the highest. The young man obeyed and both of them listened to the music for a while, such that the young man was already engrossed in the music. He closed his eyes and moved his head in excitement. Suddenly the pastor turned down the music and eventually turned it off. This made the young man jerk out of his mood. He was caught unawares. The pastor then asked the young man to be quiet for a while and listen attentively, now without the loud music. After few mins, he asked him to describe what he could hear in the room. The young man responded by mentioning what he could hear clearly other noises around the room that he did not think was there before.
"I can hear the noise from my washing machine, the dog barking in the compound, I can even hear my little cousin snoring in the other room! he exclaimed. The pastor was about to continue when the young man interrupted him. Oh! I can hear cars honking very far away on the high way...Whaoo! I can hear so many things.
The pastor laughed at the young man’s discovery, and he asked him. While the music was on, did you hear all of these other noises? The young man responded that he did not. The pastor asked him, Did you know that I had whispered to you more than seven times for you to turn down the music before I finally turned it off myself ? The young man was surprised at this.." You did?". I am sorry I dint even hear that as well.
The pastor smiled and said, Of course, if it was difficult for you to hear other audible noise at the background, how would you have even heard my whispers? So this is exactly what happens in real life. Sometimes we focus on just a particular voice in our lives which then becomes the loudest noise, while other voices goes to the back.
That demanding job that envelopes our whole life and deters us from giving attention to our family or other people that matters. The focus on the pain in the body which overtakes our whole well being while we forget other things exist. The attention on that longstanding prayer request, that has become the only item on the agenda and we forget to thank God for other numerous blessings in our lives. And to worsens things my dear, the pastor explains, we ignore the softest voice which happens to be the most important voice in the room. This is the voice that keeps calling out amidst other voice (s), and this is the voice of GOD. If we are not able to quieten the loudest voice in our lives, then we stand no chance of hearing other importance voices, talk less of hearing God’s voice.
Luke 10:38–42 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Mary in the scripture in Luke understood the importance of tuning down all other voices in her room so she can focus on the most important voice of Jesus.
The pastor concluded his discussion with the young man. Just like i had to turn off the music you were listening to because it was too loud, so also God is able to do the same. And if the loudest noise in your room is something you love most, then you can lose it.