Today’s Word: ‘Noise’ as in… A Navy pilot returning to the airbase…
… was going through the checklist for a safe landing. One important item was missed: the landing gear remained in the “up” position. Alarms went off in the cockpit and the tower began frantic calls to the pilot. But there was no response. Fire trucks and rescue vehicles were deployed to the end of the airstrip. Everyone was ready for the worst. The plane hit the runway and after a long skid, came to a stop. Miraculously, no one was hurt. The plane was badly damaged, but the pilot survived. Later, the pilot responded to the question: “Why didn’t you respond to alarm or the tower’s attempts to contact you ?” The pilot answered, “I never heard you! There was a horn blaring in the cockpit! It was so loud that I couldn’t hear myself think!”
Sometimes there’s so much noise around us that we miss the most important messages. This is especially true during the last days of the Advent season. The din of a frantic culture celebrating both holidays and holy days sometimes becomes so loud that it’s easy to miss the deeper meanings.
So … what if we listened differently in this last week of Advent? What if we invited a friend on a walk to truly listen to what’s going on in their life? What if we offered to shovel a neighbor’s driveway—the neighbor we really don’t know that well? What would happen if we focused less on giving ‘things’ and more on sharing ‘experiences’? What if the gift you gave was sharing the one thing you’re really good at with someone else: music, photography, cooking, skating lessons, software instruction, a listening ear, a helpful hand, a caring touch, the gift of unhindered time, the gift of presence. What if every encounter with every person becomes a meeting with Christ?
The message of Advent is that Christmas is coming. It’s not a thing; Christmas is a person and the person is Jesus!
Did you hear that, or was the horn blaring too loudly?