Sometimes I’m effectively white noise, and that’s okay.
White noise is used for a number of things, but essentially it mainly functions to block out distractions and allow someone to focus on a given task, whether that task is therapy, sleeping, or in some situations time with God.
I am a Pastor, and like many Pastors I fancy my sermon to be what God has to say to those whom He calls to church service in our little church on a given day. However, in my experience, God uses His servants in ways that may not expect. In fact, I attended church with a friend recently, and a popular Pastor delivered his message in what I imagine is his usual manner. I sat and listened. Well, I attempted to listen anyway.
As I sat there trying to follow along, the Lord began to speak to me. And the sermon become “white noise” in the background. The question of who to listen to wasn’t especially difficult. The Spirit was moving, and I was called to listen to what God had for me to hear.
It is while I was listening that God pointed this out to me. We do not go to church to hear a preacher deliver a finely crafted message, though there is nothing wrong with a finely crafted message. The service is not about the congregant or the Pastor, but rather about God, and what He wants to say to those at the service. The Pastor is called to be a conduit, and for most of the people, much of the time he speaks a message directly from the mouth of God, yet I suspect that sometimes it is God’s design that he function as background noise, blocking out the world, that God may whisper in a person’s ear. Perhaps you too have experienced this situation as I have.
I remember another striking time that this occurred to me. I was sitting in a pew on Sunday night listening to the sermon when my focus was directed inward and upward all at the same time. I don’t recall what the Pastor spoke on, or much else besides my seclusion there in the pew, which is good given the immense crushing guilt that I became aware of as I continued in this time alone with God. That night, with a weight greater than 10 Suns on my soul I knelt before my Lord and asked for forgiveness for my sin. As I think back, it’s interesting to know that, whatever God was using the Pastor’s message for in other people’s lives, He was using it for white noise in mine. Therefore, As a Pastor, I’m fine with being background noise from time to time, if that’s what my King would have me to be for a given time and person.
It is not for me to determine what I am to be for any specific person at any given time, but rather, I am called to be faithful and allow Him to use me as He wills. So, whether I strike to the heart with God’s word on my lips, or I become a faint buzz in the background for God to speak to a person in an undistracted frame, I hope to always be found faithful, and grateful to be in the service of my God and King.