It happens to me all the time. I’m at the house in the chaos of the day and the kids are running around, the TV is on, the washer is running and I can distantly hear someone call my name but then the rest is gibberish. “What!?” I call back only to be met with more gibberish. “I can’t hear you! Come in here and speak louder!” My life sometimes feels so full of noise that I can’t make out who is calling me. All the noise sometimes threatens to overwhelm me and I find myself asking for wisdom from God to know the way forward and I can hear God distantly calling my name but what God says is gibberish, I can’t hear it over all the noise. It is pretty good advice in such moments to turn down the volume of life and get still enough to hear God. That is advice I’ve given and I’ve taken and it does work. But sometimes someone else has their hand on the volume around you and turning all that down is just not an option. So what do we do? What do we do when the volume of life, of change, of the world around us is so high that when we ask for help the response sounds like gibberish?
“Does not wisdom call,
and does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights, beside the way,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;” – Proverbs 8:1-2
God’s wisdom to us when we are afraid, lost, out of control, struggling in our relationship, wondering if God has left us, sad, hurt, overwhelmed is a promise God has given to us. Wisdom and direction are not hidden from us. Proverbs tells us that Wisdom calls out and raises her voice. At the intersections when noise overwhelms, wisdom is calling out, she takes her stand close by, and she turns up the volume. And she invites us to turn up the volume too. Turn up the volume of God’s voice, a dial we do have power over in our lives. Turn up the volume of God’s wisdom, God’s invitation to rest, God’s understanding.
“I can’t hear you! Come in here, speak louder,” we call to God. How do we turn up the volume of God’s wisdom in our noisy lives? We read the Bible (start with Psalms, the Psalm of your age, the year, your birth year), turn on Christian radio, worship, join a small group, take a technology free walk and pay attention to the world around you, pray, seek wise counsel. Turn up the volume of God’s wisdom that is already crying out.
We find ourselves in seasons of change and at intersections. It is true in our personal lives and true as a church community. Things are good at Harrisburg UMC. God is at work and we are growing. We’ve never been on more solid financial footing and the opportunities to reach our community for Christ have never been greater! God has a plan for us – a bold, beautiful, world changing plan for us! How will we know what to do? Is the world going to get quieter? Will the traffic on 49 ease up or the sounds of construction and growth abate? Probably not. So we need to turn up the volume of wisdom calling to us and to our community. We need to invite God closer, ask God to speak louder, and listen – wisdom is calling.