As I mentioned last week, I have hearing aids and this means what I hear is fed into my ear through a microphone unit that amplifies the sound. I don’t know about you, but have you ever been trying to watch a video on YouTube, only to have the audio completely distorted by sharp, gusting wind slamming the microphone? Well, that’s the story of my life and it is probably the most annoying sound I have to deal with on a regular basis — it drives me nuts!
I was out biking a couple days ago and the wind was about as fierce as I’ve experienced in a long time. I couldn’t hear a single thing other than the screaming scratchiness of wind hitting my hearing aid microphone. I found myself very irritated, very quickly — it’s a soft spot of mine. It only took 5 minutes to realize it was not going to be a pleasant ride! Not only does wind sound terrible to me, but as a cyclist it is also my worst enemy (unless it wants to help a brother out from the tail side…).
If there are any perks to having terrible hearing, it is definitely found in the option of turning the hearing aids off. It’s like my own world of peace and tranquility. Although, instead of taking advantage of this lovely option, I kept riding into the wind. I was too lazy to pull over for a moment, take my gloves off, and ultimately turn off the hearing aids. So I continued on annoyed and negative.
Upon arriving at my destination, I reflected on the ride that had just occurred. It struck me odd that I wasn’t tired considering the intense wind. That’s when I realized that, weirdly enough, the wind wasn’t affecting my biking, I had been going just as fast as usual, and I used the same energy as I normally did. For some reason, it was just that the wind was coming in at just the right angle to overpower my hearing aid microphones. It turns out perception trumped reality, as it usually does, and the noise simply made everything else seem much worse than it actually was.
I began to think about a different kind of hearing aid; a different kind of sensitive microphone — the one that is our souls. Then I started thinking about a different kind of noisy wind — the one that is our distractions, attitudes, and controllable circumstances. I realized that, just like my bike ride, often times that noise in our life encourages us to perceive reality to be much more negative than it actually is. It holds us back from a greater joy and freedom!
I also began to realize that in these situations we have the power to turn the hearing aids off. We have the power to cut ourselves off from these very things, but we often don’t. It will look different for each individual, but perhaps it’s a negative attitude around you that needs to be avoided, maybe it’s the distraction of the latest T.V. series binge that is holding you from enriching activity, or maybe it’s a less than ideal situation you’re in that you have the power to get out of. Whatever it may be, the noise gets to our souls and can leave us very irritated, very quickly.
Most importantly, it’s hard to hear when surrounded by noise. I know I certainly can’t hear a thing other than the wind when my hearing aid microphone is being slammed! That being said, how do we expect to hear God’s real and tangible voice when our microphones are being polluted by unnecessary noise?
It’s not always convenient or easy, but if we take the effort to pull over, take our gloves off, and cut our microphones off from the chaos, the ride will start getting a lot less annoying and a lot more pleasant!