So in preparation for next year's mission teams and activities, through much prayer, I kept asking God to give me something relevant as a general theme. I know that He is a creator, and not a duplicator, so I asked for fresh wind and fire. Yesterday morning, He reminded me of a picture that very much impacted me this summer.
Here in Ecuador, in one of the barrios, there is a colorful graffiti painting on a wall of an older woman with headphones. Her eyes closed, an "ok" sign with her hand, and pure unadulterated joy, represented on her face. She is listening. There is nothing else but the sound of something beautiful in her ears. She is me! Whenever I find new music, I put on my headphones and listen...repetitively. Music is my "go to" whenever I am feeling the need for inspiration or comfort. I believe that it can be a gateway to the sacred. As many of us do, I listen to it throughout the day, but not always intentionally. There is a supernatural reverence when I stop everything else and focus, soaking in melody and lyric. In this process, emotions whisper their powerful songs to my heart, connecting me with the author of my life, during whatever trials or joys I may be experiencing.
Our ears are assaulted every day with the sounds of violence, distress, anger, gossip, negativity, busyness, competition, etc. It seems as if wherever we go, we cannot escape them. We have become so accustomed, that we don't realize the impact they have on our souls. We slowly meld into our surroundings, becoming a part of them. It's easier. If we are not careful, we never notice. We become numb. We become hard. We become hopeless. We question our purpose. And then, we realize that we no longer hear the whisper of the Spirit. We aren't hearing the "beautiful".
In this fall season of my life, I find myself seeking to go deeper. Deeper into the source of my breath. Deeper into the relationships that life me up and sustain me. Deeper into the motivation for what moves me in my Spirit. Deeper into scripture and study of the truth. I am beginning to look back over my life with peaceful acceptance and gratitude of the processes that have shaped who I was created to be. I am choosing to spend my time thinking about things that have more profound meaning and purpose. The adventure continues, as I also turn around and look ahead. Eternity is just around the corner, and although it is not time to slow down in this mission I am on, it is time to be intentional. That is a choice we can all make. We can choose what we will listen to. We can choose the beautiful. As for me, I am choosing to "Listen to the Love".
"speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord," -Ephesians 5:19