Not long ago, my family and I were taking a fairly long trip in the minivan. Given the length of the trip, the kids wanted to watch a movie. So we turned it on and distributed the headphones for the sound system that go with the DVD player. But with four kids and only two sets of headphones, this meant that the sound was going to be heard throughout the van. However, the van does have a feature that allows you to have the movie sound on in the back and then the radio or some other source for music in the front. So we turned on this feature with the hope that I could try and avoid listening to the dialogue of the movie (yes I know the dialogue of Trolls is great art, but I was not up for that kind of depth in my soul). So now we (my wife and I) are listening to music in the front seat, and the kids are listening to Trolls in the backseat. The reality is that I could hear both at the same time pretty clearly. It became an interesting exercise. I wanted to amplify the sound of the music in the front while decreasing the sound of the movie in my head. It took work, but I was able to do it. Over some of the miles, I got to the point where I was able to lock in to what I wanted to hear and ignore what I did not.
At this point, you may be saying, “So what? What are you trying to get at Keith?” My point is that I had the ability to choose what noise I heard. I had the ability to amplify certain messaging while turning down other messaging. And here is the thing – you have this ability too. You get to pick the noise that you listen to, so choose wisely. I think that so much of what we do and what we become is built on what we hear. The messages that we allow in, or dwell on, or keep out make a huge difference.
Consider how different things would be if you heard and focused on true things, the right things, optimistic things, Godly things. Imagine if you saw yourself the way that God sees you on all fronts, and you heard all that He offers and provides in light of all those truths. Amidst all the messages coming at you every day, do the hard work of focusing in on hearing what you really want, and need, and should be hearing. Pick the noise you listen to on purpose and with discipline.