Have you ever gotten into a stop light radio war?
You come to a halt jamming to some Jimmy Buffett and then some dude pulls up beside you blaring “Fancy” so loud, suddenly you’re blaming I-G-G-Y for blowing out your flip flop.
So what do you do? Probably dial Jimmy up another notch in hopes of drowning out the pop flavor of the week. But in reality, you’re just creating an even louder mash-up of awfulness.
Our world can be a noisy place like that, and not just when it comes to radio tunes. There all kinds of topics we get fired about and end up going back and forth with people on. And for some reason we seem to think, if we’re just a little bit louder than the other guy, we’ll totally persuade our antagonists.
The reality, however, is that we generally just end up adding to the noise and walk away more ticked off than when we started and with far more distance between us and other people.
As Christians, it seems we often fall into that “small dog” mentality. It seems we often want to raise our sword to defend our beliefs and our God to anyone and everyone who appear to be taking shots at them.
Sometimes this is just, but many other times I think the fight is far more about us than it is about God.
I mean let’s be honest. Does God really need a flurry of my snark-filled Facebook posts to prove his worth? Will the church dry up and fall to piece if I don’t fire back a comment to someone who lashes out against her? Will Jesus somehow fade into the distance?
I’m going to go with the negative here.
Jesus said the truth, that he is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, was the rock on which the church would be built and even the gates of Hades wouldn’t prevail against it.
I don’t even know what the gates of Hades are, but they sound a lot more powerful the the critics I deal with on a regular basis. If they’re not going to destroy the church, I’m doubting our haters are going to have much success either.
But what are we to do in such a loud world?
Perhaps the Psalmist was onto something when he wrote, “Be still and know that I am God.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that or repeated it to myself, but I’ve almost always done so with a manner of inward reflection. Most of the time I’ve take that passage and applied it to the chaos occurring in my own life.
That’s fine, but really, I’m leaving out the majority of the passage.
The entire passage says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Be still and in that stillness realize, when it’s all said and done, God is going to be honored throughout the world. No matter how loud and crazy the chaos is around us, God is going to have the final word.
Of course I don’t think this gives us a pass to do nothing. I don’t this allows us to just be that kid at the end of the bench satisfied with warming the pine rather than actively representing God in the midst of our noisy world.
But when we do so, I think maybe we need to do so in a manner similar to God’s.
When God wanted to show himself to Elijah things got pretty noisy, but God wasn’t in the noise. He wasn’t in the strong wind, the earthquake, or even the fire.
God was in the gentle breeze.
Perhaps when our worlds get loud and crazy, we shouldn’t aim to match it, but instead, meet that chaos with calmness.
Perhaps instead of cranking up our volume, we should tone it down, step back, and approach whatever topic is stirring with a gentle hand.
Perhaps we need to be a little more breezy.