Blame Northeast Ohio weather. The Lake Effect. That changeable weather, the moisture, the icy winds from Canada, and other factors lead to sinus troubles, congestion, etc., etc., ad infinitum. Not that I'm grumbling this time ... I had this epiphany last Sunday -- in church, which is a good place for some spiritual insight.
I've had hearing problems since before Christmas. Out of nowhere -- no congestion, sinus problems, or runny nose -- my left ear plugged up. Occasionally I get that squeak-creak-pop sensation when I blow my nose and my ears clear up. (I can feel a lot of you wincing. You know what I'm talking about. Ouch.) But the clearing is only temporary.
Here's what I've been leading up to:
The ear blockage/partial deafness really made itself known when I sang. I could hear myself a little more than I cared to. Talk about embarrassing -- I paid so much attention to myself, trying to figure out if I was in tune with the congregation, I really didn't pay attention to the music or the lyrics. I missed out on a lot during the worship music. (Not to mention the humbling realization that my voice has deteriorated some from non-use, since the days when I was in the choir in high school and grad school...)
What do you do, when you can't figure out if you're singing "properly"? Do you work to match up with the other singers? Muffle your own voice or fade away? Lip-synch? Or do you belt out the song and depend on God to make you sound right? There's a fine line between "making a joyful noise" and letting go of your pride to please God -- and distracting your neighbors by singing between the notes or even tormenting their ears. I don't think scripture has a reference to "joyful cacophony," do you?
Let's (ear)wax philosophical here ...
Do you become half-deaf, maybe even completely deaf, if you listen to yourself too much?
How do you unplug the ears of your soul to really, clearly, hear from God?
How do you -- can you -- use deafness to tune up?
Should you even try to make your voice harmonize with others?
Maybe there's more for God to teach me through this incident, because since my epiphany last Sunday, my ear is still blocked up. *sigh* (I could go see a doctor, but I just know I'll unplug the day before the appointment...)
Yeah, there's something still to learn ...