It was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard.” 2 Chronicles 5:13
They hang silently on the wall…shouting…with no one listening. We have lived at 217 West Poplar Street for almost twenty-three years. Given I’m a Baptist pastor that is quite amazing since we preachers don’t usually stay in one place that long. That might be why so many of us preachers are fond of Willie Nelson’s song, “On the Road Again.” You might wonder why we tend to move around, and the answer is three-fold. First, sometimes God says go, sometimes the people we serve say go and finally, sometimes we say go. There you go…no pun intended.
So, to live in one place for that many years means that we have hung around long enough to see our kids grow up and have kids, for sticks to become trees and flowers to not only bloom but multiply. As the years have gone by, we have painted the house, inside and out, a couple of times and redecorated more times than that. Furniture has come and gone and so have a lot of decorator items. You know how it is—tastes and styles change and of course we must occasionally keep up with the Jones.
Well, amidst all that change there are somethings that have hung around—and hung is a good word for it. As an example, we papered the main part of our kitchen, and it is still there today—two decades later. There are two reasons. First, we like it and second, we definitely do not like stripping wallpaper, so every time we think about changing it—-we just think about stripping it. Now hanging over the stove is something that we have had for a long time—in fact, it may have come with us from our previous home.
It is a three-dimensional wall plaque that, along with other things, has six words on it. I hadn’t really read it in a long time but this morning I happened to glance over at the stove and for the first time in a long time—well, I read it. Here’s what it says, “Live well, Laugh often and Love much.” Now that is a great mantra to live by. And for the past couple of decades, it has hung in the same place, over the stove, shouting its grand advice and yet, for the most part, no one listened.
Regardless…it is great advice. Think about it. Live well. Stop and smell the roses. Learn to appreciate the people who fill your life—especially the ones we call family. Take the time to admire a sunrise and sunset—like it was the first one you ever saw. Laugh often. Rediscover the fine art of laughing at a corny joke or the crazy antics of your dog or one of your grandkids. Sometimes we just need to laugh till we cry. Love much. Love the way you did when you first saw him or her. Love homemade ice cream like you did the first time you tasted it. Love God like the day He forgave you.
Someone said once, we need to learn to dance like no one is watching. I like that—especially considering I can’t dance. But for any of this to happen, we must learn to listen to the things that matter and yet are so easy to ignore. Like the plaque over the stove. Like the song the frogs sing after a spring rain. Like the symphony the stars lift to the One who made it all. Starting today, starting now, why not take time to read or perhaps just listen to all that is going on around us. No, not the static, not the noise, but rather the music of life. The words go something like this—live well, laugh often, and love much.
There’s an interesting verse tucked away in the Old Testament part of the Bible. It says, “And it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard.” We learn that it was their job to be heard but it was the people’s job to listen…and respond. The music of life, laugher and love are all around us—we just need to listen. My Dearest Daddy sometimes, well a lot of the time, must remind me to slow way down and listen as His creation sings and as He whispers, “I’ve got this.” Bro. Dewayne