Skip to main content

quiet vs. not so quiet



Taken in December 16, 2006, this is the main street of the little town of Saint Lazare where I live. Pretty quiet for a Saturday night. I am leaving for San Fancisco tomorrow morning to visit a friend for 5 days and I am looking forward to the change not only from cold weather, but from quietness. Dean just returned from 8 days in Los Angeles on a business trip so it has been extra quiet here this past week, though very productive and enlightening and important on my part. I am a contemplative person and do much of my learning and growing by thinking things through and listening to God and reading and writing and creating, but there is also this side of me that needs crowds of people and lots of hustle and activity and a certain wild spontaneity in order to learn and see and experience those things that just cannot be learned in solitude. I also highly regard one-on-one relationships, and would sacrifice just about anything else in order to spend some quality time with someone whom I consider dear to me. That is one of the reasons I am going to visit my friend, Lucy: because she is important and interesting and it is worth some time and money and effort on my part to let her know that. To paraphrase Solomon: there is a time for everything, a time to listen in quietness, a time to party and celebrate and not hold back, and a time to focus on those people that are important in your life. May I learn to be in tune with God's timing.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---
Moooooooo!!

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …