Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tone Deaf

I realized it before the worship team had finished the first stanza of the opening song. "She" can't sing. Maybe you've been there - you're all set to join the melodious throng lifting their voices in praise to God, when a nearby voice belts out the words with no regard for tune or pitch.

I'll admit, I was distracted at first. Then the music seemed to fade away and I began thinking about that phenomenon known as amusia, or tone deafness. Wikipedia.com defines tone deafness as the inability to discriminate between notes. Someone who is tone deaf simply can't distinguish between notes. It may be that they lack the musical training to reproduce the music they hear, or they may actually be genetically unable to "hear" the music as most of us do.

I tried to focus on the music, yet it seemed God wanted to speak to me through those off-key notes. I wondered, how well do I hear God's voice? Can I distinguish his voice from the distractions around me? Am I in tune when he speaks to me in his still small voice, through the beauty of nature? Do I discern his voice through admonitions from caring friends? Or do I crowd out his voice by focusing on the worries and concerns of the day?

How sad that someone may be unable to enjoy music, but even sadder is the inability to hear God's voice. Thankfully, spiritual tone deafness can be corrected, and we can learn to be in tune, read to listen when God speaks to us. Here are some things we can do to that end:

  • Practice being quiet. Make it an intentional part of your day. Get some time away from the phone and TV. For me, this means getting away from books and blogging as well.
  • Learn to recognize God's voice in the uncomfortable or unpleasant situations.
  • Make some of your prayer time just quiet time.
  • Get outside. I always find it easier to listen to God when I'm outdoors, away from the many distractions on my to-do list.
  • Take time to meditate on Scripture or key passages in books on the Christian life. I tend to zip through books but I'm learning to take my time and reread sections that speak to me, even highlighting them or making notes as I go.
God isn't rude. He won't interrupt us. But when we're ready to listen, he wants to speak to us.
Pay attention, Job, and listen to me; be silent, and I will speak. Job 33:31
Tag: Devotional Thoughts

7 comments:

Islandsparrow said...

Good thoughts on listening Dianne.Thanks!

Susanne said...

What a good post! It always amazes me how God uses things going on around us to teach us spiritual truths! So glad you decided to "listen" instead of focusing everything on the music. A good lesson for us all!

Katrina said...

Great thoughts/advice, Dianne. It is so important to "unplug" and take time to listen to God. Yet it's so easy to just not do that.

(Oh, and I'll have to remember not to sit behind you in church. I can distinguish tones...just can't hit 'em! Just kidding - I know you'd put up with me. :) )

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Great connection between what you heard, and how we hear God. I'm just home, from Texas, today and needed your reminder to just be still and quiet at least part of the day. I'll be unplugging for at least a bit. xoxo

Jennifer said...

This is classic Dianne. Great stuff. Thanks.

tripmom827 said...

Was it me?!?! :) I love how GOd uses everyday things to teach us deep truths about Himslef...what a great God!

Jessica said...

I think that any music/song for God is beautiful and it is majorly important to listen to what God tells us. Thanks for your thoughts! :)