Sunday, February 1, 2009


“That’s better”, I thought, as I listened to the song I had just recorded. I had listened to it with my new “noise-cancelling” headphones! The highs were clear as the sound of a knife on crystalline glass; the lows like the rumble of distant thunder; clarity was superb!

The manufacturer had used “active noise control”, (ANC). Positive (+) sound waves from the outside are played as negative (–) “anti-noise” sounds in my ears, allowing only the pure sounds from the recording to reach my ears.

“That’s it!”, I thought, when I reflected on it, in light of Jesus’ instruction on banquets. What does a banquet have to do with recording? Simply that I was preparing this for others to listen to! That’s what makes it like a banquet! He had told them to be discerning. (Luke 14:12-14.)

Later in the day, while out and about in my car, I began to comprehend it! It was one of those “aha” moments. “You’ve got to deal with the noise to truly hear music”. I grinned to myself mischievously, “This means you’ve got to put on your ‘Jesus’ headphones, when you record and share!”

I then absent-mindedly I walked into a local coffee shop to meet a friend. Suddenly, reality settled in . . . !

“Not again,” I thought. “When will they ever start remembering my senior discount!” I had just purchased tea and a bagel, and they had charged me full price – again!

I know, I know, that sounds really petty. But I told myself that I honestly try not to be demanding while I remind them of my age, pointing to my bald head!

(Oh, by the way, I recently heard of someone who had decided to make the best of his bald head experience, by having a small tattoo of a person with a lawnmower placed at his hair line!)

I chose not to say anything. As I did, however, a twinge of false guilt came over me, because I felt I needed every discount I could get! After all, that is a quarter! Four purchases later I could have another tea and a bagel free! “A stitch in time saves nine!” (See Stitch-in-Time)

That feeling followed me for a while, until I remembered that the waitress may not have had very many good experiences with white-headed men and women like me that day. With new understanding, I began to pray that she would have a good day, and would experience more joy in her job.

Later I even bought a pop and a Danish for a person who had just lost his job. It also hit me why I had lost my joy when condemning the forgetful waitress. She had viewed me as wealthy, and not really needing a discount.

She was discerning! Jesus was right!

From God’s perspective I was claiming sight – when blind; I was claiming agility – when lame; I was claiming health – while deformed; I was claiming wealth – when I was poor.

That is what Jesus was getting at! It was what He saw in my heart when I grumbled about my discount! (Matthew 6:4.)

Is not this a reason why our “marketplace” strategy should be guarded?

Let’s keep the “noise” out of our banquets!

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