“Can you roll up the windows?”
“Yes.” I sighed, wishing the red light would change to green so we could drive away from the young guy in the sporty black car blaring cuss-word music beside us.
It was a beautiful spring day, a recent cold front ushering cooler air over the west coast of Florida. May would soon arrive, packed with bloated 90s baggage and humidity thick as salted butter.
This was the last gentle dose of Florida’s mild winter.
The perfect time for open windows.
Except for the cuss-word music stabbing my ear drums like a dozen metal bobby pins.
I rolled the truck windows up, up, all the way, to block out the ugly sounds.
“Do you know what so-and-so said today in the locker room?” My older son had his nose buried in a book in the back seat but his voice lilted with interest at my reaction.
“No, what?” My shoulders slumped. Cole’s in 6th grade, and even after teaching this age (a lifetime ago), I’m still surprised at how other-worldly middle schoolers are and how colorful their conversations.
Sometimes my parental glasses get smudged with the tears of time, and I realize I’m still viewing my children as three & five-years old, starting kindergarten and learning cursive not curse words, feeling their soft little heads knocking my belly-button in tight-armed, dirty-fingered hugs.
On the other side of the truck, another car slides into packed red light formation, blaring an alternate version of ugly music. I turn up the Joy-FM and grit my teeth.
I know our children will eventually hear the sordid details of so-and-so politician’s affair and learn about the many people decapitated by militant extremists in the Middle East. They’ll eventually find out twenty-plus children were murdered at the hands of a disturbed young man in my childhood elementary school.
They’ve heard some of the premier swear words out there, though not from us.
They’ve seen scantily-clad, bone-thin women eight-feet tall on billboards at the mall (don’t get me started, Victoria and your so-not-a-secret Secret).
Keeping them in a bubble is impossible. But we do our best to shelter them from the dark trenches of the world while they’re young, because that’s what God called us to do. And little by little, by God’s grace, they’re learning why we cling to the One we do.
Because the noise is everywhere.
It’s all around us. Political noise, social media noise–tweeting, posting, instagraming, etc.. We’re bombarded with thoughts, sounds, and garbage that fills our minds. Distracts us. Twists our emotions. Breaks our hearts.
As an aspiring author, there’s all sorts of noise from the publishing world. Much of it’s good. Some of it’s disheartening. Occasionally it’s envy-producing, and I fight contentment and trusting God’s timing.
I’m learning to filter out the disheartening, keep my eyes on the One who is the Prize and the reason I write, and soak in the fantastic writing and publishing advice social media outlets do offer.
There is GOOD noise out there. There is GOOD news, too. Jesus. He will redeem what he who is in the world has done. He will right the wrong, and clear out the dark trenches.
The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea. (Psalm 93:4)
I know this, and am thankful. Grateful. Ready!
(Side note: It won’t matter who’s president.)
It’s noisy out there.
Roll up the windows to this world. Fill your mind with the Good News, the promise of praise and grace found in His word alone.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)