09 December 2016

This 'n' That

Headphones. They are everywhere. People can't seem to function without them. I see them as people ride bikes, run, or simply walk across the street. I see folks plugged in from their car to the office, and inside the office as well. At their desk, at the printer, in the bathroom. Yes, you read that correctly.

Why are we so conditioned to be constantly surrounded by noise? For my part, I cannot understand how my coworkers accomplish anything with another voice speaking into their ears, whether it is singing or talking. Me? I can't even work with classical music playing. My brain simply cannot process that much at once. And you know what? That's okay.

It seems to me that my generation and younger may end up with hearing aids at a much younger age than previous generations. Sure, I listen to music (usually classical or Christmas music, if the season's right) or podcasts in the car or while exercising, but other than that, I'm okay with the silence. Surely the constant noise plugged directly into our aural cavity cannot be a good thing!

I learned a lesson in the fragility and sensitivity of our eardrums this weekend when I unintentionally, but thankfully only temporarily, impaired my hearing. When bombarded by more unexpected and excessive noise within the next 12 hours, there was more pain. There was pressure. It wasn't terrible, but it was enough to make me nervous.

After a trip to the doctor, I was comforted to "hear" that there was no permanent damage. She talked to me about the danger of seemingly instant hearing loss, though, and explained that, in severe instances, when hearing is suddenly completely lost, a person has only 24 to 48 hours to address the issue (i.e., to be placed on steroids to reduce the inflammation). After this time, the hearing loss is irreversible and permanent.

Wow. What an intricate, fragile body God has designed! Why do we not care for it more? Is our playlist really more important than being able to hear the birds singing for the duration of our time here on earth? I would rather hear creation praising God than to hear man singing his ridiculous "Top Ten" hit any day. That is why you'll probably never see me wandering the halls of my office with headphones in my ears and my phone in my pocket. Instead, you might see me wearing ear plugs when confronted with loud noises, wherever that may be. It may not be the most glamorous look, but I'd rather preserve the precious hearing that my God was so good to give me!

With that, why not turn on some soft, instrumental Christmas carols and then sit back to enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • Logic is definitely lacking in the world today. Perhaps everyone should read this book. (Here's Part 2 of this post).
  • Hm, France may actually be on to something here, and it shows in the number of children who aren't unnecessarily diagnosed with ADHD.
  • The Babylon Bee kind of annoys me, but I have to admit that this is funny.
  • Thankful this closure could happen.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • We should be very thankful for Caryl Matrisciana's service to the Kingdom, and praise God that she is now truly at home.
  • "In approximately 90 percent of instances when prenatal genetic testing reveals Down syndrome, the baby is aborted."
  • This will bring tears to your eyes. Praise God.
  • I love Snoopy. I love A Charlie Brown Christmas. This time of year, though, when so many are singing the praises of the professing Christian creator of Peanuts, Charles Schulz, it seems important to remind everyone of the actual spirituality of Schulz. From the linked article: "Later in his life, Schulz's (sic) began to refer to himself as a 'secular humanist,' as his theology became less traditional. This did not mean he was no longer a Christian, but rather that he now believed other faiths might also provide legitimate paths to God. He was also less certain about other Christian doctrines, such as the existence of a literal heaven." Sorry, but if you believe there's any way to salvation other than Christ alone, you are not a Christian. This doesn't mean we stop enjoying Linus and his beautiful recitation of the Christmas story. It just means we become more mindful of who we are placing on a pedestal.
  • For unto us a Child is born:

8 comments:

  1. I agree with what you said about constant background music, headphones, and our hearing.

    Now if only churches would understand how precious the gift of hearing is. Many assemblies need to turn down the volume of their amplified music... because it does not bring glory to Christ to damage our hearing in the name of "worship"...

    -Carolyn

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    1. Carolyn, I could not agree more! The sad thing is, this is not happening only in large, seeker-sensitive megachurches. There was a church where I used to live that had very doctrinally sound teaching, but it was preceded by excessively loud musical performances. Many people actually refused to come in until the musical portion of the service was over, because it was so obnoxiously loud. This just isn't right. That's not "worship," except maybe worship of the men on the stage.

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    2. Erin,

      Exactly. It's unfortunately ubiquitous, even in the most doctrinally sound churches. The further concern is how leadership most often responds when you politely ask them to turn the volume down...

      -Carolyn

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    3. Hi Erin,

      A PS, this might be a repeat comment, I tried to send it yesterday but maybe it didn't work?

      Anyhow, I will admit in my frustration over the issue of loud worship music, at times I have been impatient and irritable with leadership. Unfortunately, it's not just loud music that is the issue. Irrespective of volume, there's the perennial problem: songs with vapid lyrics.

      When the lyrics are empty and repetitious, my husband and I don't bother singing. When the music is too loud, we just sit in the foyer and grieve.

      Finally, to your comment that people fear silence, I wonder if it's because their consciences are alternately accusing/defending them (Romans 2:15). An unforgiven (unredeemed) accusing conscience is a difficult thing to endure.

      -Carolyn

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  2. I enjoy listening to music a lot. I have it on in the background at work. Just because I enjoy music more than birdsong doesn't mean I don't value my hearing. That's a false dichotomy. If you'd rather not listen to music much, then don't. But please don't spiritualize the issue.

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    1. Tom, I'm not sure why you are taking such strong offense at my personal preference to not constantly fill my ears with music. Have you ever had your hearing impaired? If so, perhaps you'd understand my position. I certainly wasn't spiritualizing the issue more than saying that, based on the knowledge I have, it seems foolish not to try to preserve the hearing God's given me.

      As a related issue, I think it's extremely telling that our society must be constantly surrounded by noise. Restaurants, stores, everywhere you go, the music is blasting. And when it isn't, we stick it directly into our ears. Why is this? Why are we afraid of silence? I think if we answered that question honestly, we might learn quite a bit about ourselves.

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    2. Hearing is a precious gift from our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. My husband and I prefer restaurants that do not have the music volume turned up or no music at all. How can you have a conversation with those you are breaking bread with with such "noise"?
      Erin, thank you for this ministry. You and your blog are a blessing!
      Keep looKING up!

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