Ed, my neighbor next door, insisted he was doing me a favor yesterday. When Ed heard I was heading off to Saskatoon to pick up our seven-year-old granddaughter, he volunteered to come for the ride. I knew it was going to be a long day when I hit my forehead on the trunk lid while loading the car. On a four-hour drive to Saskatoon by myself, I bring several of my favorite music CDs and look forward to some good music and a leisurely talk to God in prayer. This is always in contrast to my trip home with my granddaughter who doesn’t believe in any silence in a four-hour drive.
It seemed like Ed was the one with a week off school, as he was really cranked up on our drive to the city. Unless Ed and I get into an argument, conversation between us is not an issue because Ed is never short of words. Even if we stop to get a coffee, Ed winds up talking to 98 % of the people in the truck stop. Ed is one of those people who believes if he talks everyone will be thrilled and delighted to listen to him. On a scale of one to ten, Ed is a ten out of ten for nonstop talking. Ruby, Ed’s wife, has commented that Ed’s talking can cause headaches.
I must admit that the trip home with our granddaughter and Ed was a meeting of kindred spirits. Two non-stop talkers both talking full force at the same time resulted in my migraine. Between Foam Lake and Melville, the talking duo became the singing partners by shouting along to 50 Silly Songs, twice over, from the CD of the same name. By the time we reached home, I was ready to sign an affidavit stating that “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, and I am going to the garden to eat worms.” Ed went off into the sunshine to his house happily singing “The Crawdad Song,” while our granddaughter went skipping and singing to our house singing “The Cat Came Back.”
It isn’t just children that enjoy silly songs, wacky cartoons and absurd jokes. At what age do we need to discern between what is silly and what is serious? What do we need to hear and see? What do we want to hear and see? It seems we often quit listening because we don’t like to hear what we heard before. Sadly, there will always be a desire to ignore what God has to tell us. There will always be a hunger for rebellion towards what God has to say. The prophet Isaiah complained centuries before the birth of Jesus, “The Lord says – they have chosen their own ways – For when I called, no one answered. When I spoke no one listened. They did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me.” When our granddaughter visits for a week, there is always one question: Didn’t she hear what we said to do or did she choose to ignore us?
Paul told the young preacher Timothy that the people of their day were into godless myths and old wives’ tales. Timothy was instructed to devote himself to the public reading of the Scripture, to preaching and teaching, because if he persevered in them he would save both himself and his hearers. Is this the kind of preaching you desire from your minister?