The sound of crick­ets chirping in the back­yard

Record Observer - - Religion -

Noise has be­come a daily ex­pe­ri­ence for many peo­ple to­day. From morn­ing un­til night, we are sur­rounded by noise of all kinds. Peo­ple have got­ten ac­cus­tomed to an at­mos­phere of noise. For my part, I am just a lit­tle bit tired of all the noise. What would life be like if there was si­lence?

The Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age and I were re­lax­ing on the back porch af­ter sup­per, drink­ing our cof­fee and en­joy­ing the evening. Noth­ing quite com­pares to drink­ing cof­fee on the back porch af­ter a hard day. Then my wife said some­thing that star­tled me. “Do you hear that?” I lis­tened and strained my ears but I could not hear any­thing. If my wife says there is some­thing to hear, then there is some­thing to hear. I strained my ears as much as pos­si­ble, but to no ef­fect.

“Don’t you hear that?” She said once more.

For the life of me, I did not hear any­thing and was be­gin­ning to think she was try­ing to pull one over on me. She does that oc­ca­sion­ally and catches me. She thinks it’s rather funny, although I laugh along with her, I am not laugh­ing on the in­side.

Fi­nally, I said, “What are you talk­ing about? I don’t hear any­thing.”

She was star­ing across the back­yard as though she was look­ing at some­thing.

“Don’t you hear that si­lence?”

Per­son­ally, I did not know you could hear si­lence, but I was not go­ing to ar­gue with her at the time. I stared in the di­rec­tion she was star­ing and still could not fig­ure out what she was talk­ing about. Then it came to me. Across our back­yard sev­eral crick­ets were chirping. Nor­mally I do not hear those crick­ets, but I could hear them loud and clear from where I was set­ting. What they were singing I am not quite sure, but I en­joyed lis­ten­ing to them at the time. It sounded so serene and peace­ful.

Some­times our life is so crowded with other things that we do not hear some of the more quiet things. The noise around us crowds out some of the quiet­ness in our life.

“Okay,” I said with a grin, “I hear the si­lence now.”

I sup­pose crick­ets chirp all the time, par­tic­u­larly the ones in our back­yard, but I do not al­ways hear it. For the next hour, my wife and I qui­etly lis­tened to those crick­ets chirping and we en­joyed ev­ery mo­ment of it.

“Isn’t that si­lence,” my wife whis­pered, “truly re­fresh­ing?”

I do not al­ways agree with my wife, but this time I was in com­plete har­mony with her thoughts. It is re­fresh­ing to lis­ten to si­lence that has ab­so­lutely no agenda but to quiet the mind.

Out in our so­ci­ety, we have noise and ac­tiv­ity and miss the good things in life. I just won­der how many peo­ple miss the things in life that are truly re­fresh­ing be­cause of all of the noise and ac­tiv­ity around.

It takes some time to get used to the si­lence, but my wife and I, as we sipped our evening cof­fee and star­ing across the back­yard, en­joyed the sounds of si­lence.

To ap­pre­ci­ate the si­lence is one of the great priv­i­leges of life. I must con­fess I do not often get the chance to en­joy si­lence, es­pe­cially hear­ing the chirping of the crick­ets in the back­yard.

As we were sit­ting there just en­joy­ing the si­lence, I could not help but think of one star­tling lit­tle ques­tion. Why in the world did God cre­ate crick­ets? Of what pur­pose do they have in this busy world of ours?

Very few peo­ple get the chance to hear crick­ets chirping, so why in the world would God take the time and ef­fort to cre­ate them?

If you would ask some­body when was the last time they heard crick­ets chirping, I am sure you would get the silent treat­ment from them. No­body re­ally takes the time to think about crick­ets let alone lis­ten to them. We have too much to do and too many other things to lis­ten to, to spend our time lis­ten­ing to si­lence.

“Don’t you,” my wife sighed deeply, “just love those crick­ets?”

I was not go­ing to ar­gue with my wife. I have never given crick­ets much thought in the past, but as we sat there, I be­gan to ap­pre­ci­ate the sounds of crick­ets in the evening.

Af­ter a few mo­ments of si­lence, I replied, “We ought to spend more time lis­ten­ing to those crick­ets.”

I should not say this, but we named those crick­ets. One was Al­bert and the other we called Beatrice. Why? Does it re­ally mat­ter?

From then on when­ever we wanted to en­joy a lit­tle bit of quiet­ness one of us would say, “How about an A and B con­cert?” We al­ways knew what that meant; time to spend on the back porch en­joy­ing the cricket con­cert.

It takes a lot of dis­ci­pline to get to the place to en­joy si­lence. For my part, I want to hear ev­ery­thing and know ev­ery­thing that is go­ing on around me. It is as though I need to ap­prove ev­ery­thing that has hap­pened.

Think­ing about this I thought about David. Maybe this is what he meant when he wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be ex­alted among the hea­then, I will be ex­alted in the earth” (Psalms 46:10).

I am ready for an­other A and B con­cert this evening.

Dr. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age. Tele­phone 1-866-552-2543, email jamess­ny­der2@att.net. Web­site is www.jamess­ny­der­min­istries.com.

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