“Come thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace; streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.”
I’m seated in a white wooden rocker early Saturday morning, gently rocking back and forth to the rhythm of the grand piano held captive by a white haired artist recalling classic movie themes a mere twenty feet away. By all appearance and sound, one would think I’m easing into Saturday from a relaxed rural setting; instead, I’m sitting on the edge of a congested walkway between the ‘B’ and ‘C’ concourses of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. The music and motion are both so pleasant that I could slide naturally into a pre-flight nap if not for the cell phone chatter, arguing children, and irregular clacking of someone’s broken wheel as they tug their carry on behind them like a hay wagon. I could install the earphones I keep strategically poised in a front pocket of my own carry on for moments just like this, but ignoring the cacophony would mean missing the live music that beckons from the periphery opposite the chaos in between.
Spiritual formation is nothing more, but certainly nothing less, than doggedly filtering out distraction. God speaks without my asking; my role is distinguishing His voice from the competing clatter. Such filtering is a cumulative effort. Recognizing Him now, requires a heart that is already bent toward Him like a heavily surrounded hardwood strains toward the sun. I foster the leaning through Scripture reading and scriptural meditation, encountering Creator in creation, and when representing Him to the hollow eyed ‘least of these.’ His melody is discernible above the base line of circumstance, but voice recognition requires familiarity. Relationship changes everything.