Keith Wishum: Hearing angels sing

Published 6:12 am Sunday, May 21, 2017

In my files is a list of “Life’s Unanswered Questions.” Can you answer these?
•         Why is it that rain drops but snow falls?
•         Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
•         Why is the word dictionary in the dictionary?
•         Why can’t they make the whole plane out of the same stuff as that black box?
For one question on the list, I think I know the answer: “Why do you turn the volume down on the car radio when you are looking for a particular address?”  I know why I do. The noise distracts me. If I’m listening to the radio instead of focusing on where I’m going, I may drive past my destination.  Sometimes, I get so distracted that I have to pull over to remember where I was headed!
Since I’m confessing to you, I’ll also admit that I have the same problem with living that I have driving. I’m easily distracted. The noise of life gets so loud that I forget where I’m going.
That’s especially true at certain times of the year. In the fall, for example, there is the din of ads pitching every imaginable product “just in time for Christmas.” There are singing Santas on the self and musical “trees” (green plastic with built in lights is hardly a tree). The calendar shouts loudly, “Quick, off to grandma’s house for thanksgiving. Stop by the mall for the big sale. Bake some cookies for the party. Wrap those gifts. Clean the house for the guests.” It gets louder and busier as we move from holiday to holiday.
Amid the noise, here’s an important question: Does the noise of the season distract us from its purpose? Is it actually possible to be thankful in a hurry? Can the quiet, lowly birth of a savior who lived simply really be honored with a glitzy sale?
On a quiet, starlit night long ago, “there were shepherds living out in the fields” (Luke 2:8). An angel appeared to them, then a whole chorus of the heavenly host, announcing the most important birth of human history.
And, there in that still night, the shepherds heard the angels sing.
They heard because there was no noise to distract them. If angels sang today, would our ear buds block it and our surround sound drown it?
Should we turn down the volume of life to listen to the Lord?
P.S. If you’re wondering why we’re talking about Christmas in May, I was afraid we might both be too busy in December to have this conversation.

A Word from Williams Road is provided by the Williams Road Church.