I grew up during a time when even the walkman was a little pricey for my mother’s wallet. Thankfully, a few friends in my neighborhood had one, and were happy to share with me and allow me to listen up close and personal to the sounds of Run DMC to ensure that I knew every lyric recited. Fast forward 30 years and enter the world of technology whereby even a set of headphones is the equivalent to a gas bill during the winter. I appreciate music, like for real. I can truly attest to India.Arie’s melodic, “how can I live a day without music;” but I can live without the price one is expected to pay for good, quality sound.
Recently, I was struck by the series of Beats by Dre commercials, specifically the tagline, “Hear What You Want.” I paused, and considered the visual that accompanied Colin Kaepernick getting off the bus, and all the mayhem surrounding him (sidebar, after the Panthers/49ers game, I understand the sentiment). People were screaming, shouting, throwing things, growling and the like; yet he was smooth and focused on his assignment. While I understand that the marketing genius behind this commercial’s intent is for me to purchase the product, I instead elected to buy the meaning behind the message.
As soon as you make up your mind about what you intend to do and how you will spend your time, you can expect as in the commercial, mayhem to show up. Everyone who you entertain is not a fan of your life; and even though they possess 50 yard line seats, they have actually shown up to see you fail. Sometimes they are bold and audacious enough to tell you their expectations of you (or lack thereof), and other times, their silence speaks volumes of doubt in what you have determined to attempt. Its useless to spend effort engaging them in a different narrative. You are the storyteller of your life and you have the power to shift the quarter in your favor at any time.
In this season, we must elect to hear the voice of the Lord, and trust that what is spoken into our lives will come to fruition. We must place ourselves in environments and spaces that are conducive for his voice and his presence. That means setting ourselves apart from negativity and non productive atmospheres. Further, that means setting ourselves apart from negative people who are non productive. We stand in need of many things: financial healing, physical healing, emotional healing, mental healing, spiritual healing and the like. Just as we await our healing, the enemy is enacting his energy to block it from coming through.
Words have power. We are reminded in Psalm 18:20 that life and death lie in the power of our tongue. Are you positioning yourself in spaces where death is being spoken over you?! Further, even when we find it difficult to control or even manipulate where we take residence, we can control, as in the Beats commercial what we hear. We can choose to hear the whispers of abundant living from our Heavenly Father, or the echoes of despair from the father of lies. No matter how loud and blaring the voice of the enemy, we must determine that we will not share the same frequency.
We are halfway through the first month of the new year, and the resolutions, promises and transitions spoken before we saw 2014 have already been challenged, and dare I say even compromised. As we indulge in our football analogy, some of us have in this short amount of time, had portions of our lives on display likened to a jumbotron. And for some reason, people who witness also feel entitled to comment, inquire and even inquisition. We cannot worry about them. They are uniquely positioned to propel us to where God intends for us to go. Just because they are visible to us, doesn’t mean they must also be audible in us.
Let’s also remember that sometimes what we hear may be masked. We must seek God and ask that our hearts be open to hearing even hidden messaging. Let’s challenge ourselves to hear what encourages us to do better and be better. Let’s hear what makes us so uncomfortable to change situations and circumstances that need rejuvenation. Let’s hear truth even when it hurts. Let’s hear hope in despair. Let’s hear love amidst fear. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:13) and we are reminded in John 10:27 that, “my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” We must ask ourselves, “what are we hearing?” The clammer won’t stop, but we can either be a recipient of what is heard, or a benefactor. Hear what you want! Rock on!