Theme: The Noise of Comparison
I was reading about a guy by the name of Bernie Krause, who records nature sounds for movies and TV. He said that in 1968, in order to get one hour of natural sound (without the unnatural noise of planes, cars, etc.), it would take him about 15 hours of recording time. Today, it takes him 2,000 hours.
We often think of noise only in terms of audible sounds and decibels. However, noise can be anything that clutters our thinking or in our case, people who want to know God, can drown out the voice of God.
Comparison is one noise that acts as a trap to hearing the voice of God. And compared to 1968, with the evolution of digital media, the comparison trap has grown exponentially. Yet, at the same time, the comparison trap has always been around. Do you remember when the disciples started comparing themselves to one another? If not, here is the script.
"Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ "But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves." Luke 22:24-27 (NLT).
There was some noise going on here! Literally voices raised to high decibel levels over who would be the greatest, and Jesus had to silence it. So what did he do? He pointed the noise of comparison back to the mission - serve others. Be outward focused, right? Make a difference in peoples lives, it is a great way to silence the comparison game in our lives.
But to serve, as we learned Sunday, Jesus would often withdraw to lonely places and pray. There was a rhythm to His life and the more popular He became the more time he spent waiting patiently and quietly before His Father. Why? Well, I think He was practicing and modeling how we can keep the noise of comparison out of our lives.
As we take time to wait patiently and quietly for God, there is a divine exchange. We get refocused on being us and serving in the way we can rather than comparing ourselves to others and how they serve. God re-centers us and encourages us to be who He created us to be. In this practice of waiting quietly and patiently God tells us what our next serve should be and we can find great peace and fulfillment in knowing and doing it.
So be you. Don't get caught up in the noise of comparison. It will drown out the voice of God in your life.
Scripture: Pslam 62:5 (NLT)
"Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him."
"Heavenly Father, today I wait patiently and quietly before you. For my hope is in you. I want to hear your voice. I see your closest followers started comparing and arguing about who would be the greatest. It was a noisy conversation Jesus had to quiet. It was the comparison trap. And Jesus quieted the argument by reminding them about serving. Help me to take time on a regular basis to wait patiently and quietly before you so I can hear You tell me my next move. I know it will have something to do with serving others. And when I hear it, help me to find peace and fulfillment from living this simple way of life. Withdraw, listen and obey. In Jesus' Name, Amen."