Hurricane Matthew brought a loss of power for tens of thousands in my city. I grew up with the power going out at least once a year for the snow storms that befell my hometown, but since I moved away ten years ago it’s been a handful of times I’ve needed a flashlight to get around my house.
What I noticed aside from the intense darkness—which I know is obvious since the lights are out, but it’s something you can’t know until you’ve experienced it—is the quiet. No electricity buzzing, no cars driving by, no sound machine in my toddler’s room, no keys clicking on the keyboard. Just the wind and the rain beating the house, until it subsides and the power is still out.
When the world falls quiet, what do you hear? What broken record repeats in your head? For me it was May We All, the new Florida-Georgia Line song, thanks to my husband repeating the refrain over and over (and over and over). It’s not my favorite but at least it’s a happy song. When that subsided, a praise-and-worship song began (Priceless by KING & COUNTRY).
I thought to myself, thank goodness I listen to happy things. It seems like such a simple thought, listening to happy things, but I found that years of doing so prepares me for the quiet moments. The broken records, so to speak, that I have on repeat in my quiet moments are praise and worship to our Heavenly Father, reminders that He is a Good, Good Father, and that He makes All Things New. I hear life-giving lyrics, encouragement in the form of reminders that I am loved, I am worthy, I matter, I can achieve far more than I believe I can because God has a huge plan for me.
I listen to extra sermons a couple times of week, usually Craig Groeschel from Life.Church and Chris Hodges from Church of the Highlands. Their recitations of scripture and further teaching on topics such as spiritual warfare, handling stress or strengthening a marriage, give me strong things to think about in my quiet moments. Instead of clouding my mind with the voices from horrible “reality” shows or sarcastic public figures, I hear God’s word and His promises for my life.
How easy it is to let the ugly stuff take over, right? We are our own worst critics. When the world goes quiet, the little devil inside that tells us we’re not good enough, we’re not smart enough, we’re not strong enough, and we’re just plain not enough, has a tendency to get pretty loud, doesn’t it? Why encourage that little devil? Why stroke that little devil’s ego and let him run rampant?
I was glad at the moment when all went quiet that my broken record was life-giving. It reminded me that even when I don’t feel like listening to happy things, when I want to wallow in self-pity on a bad day or I want to avoid praise-and-worship when I get mad at God, listening to positive, life-giving and life-affirming lyrics and sermons is completely worth it. The stuff I put in my head matters, because when the world goes quiet, I want to hear the happy.