Today I found myself in a rare situation. My husband took our daughter to visit a friend, and I was headed home from prepping for school at the local library. Since I was going to beat him home, he texted me to get our dog Rowdy out for a trip to the park. Great idea! The past few days have been a whirlwind of online shopping carts, coupon codes, shipping labels, and packing tape, so my furry son has missed out on more than his regular, quality moments outside of the house. This was the perfect opportunity for him to get some “Mama Time” sans the kid who now commands a good share of my attention and the majority of my time.
I loaded him into the back, behind the driver’s seat. That’s his spot. I always roll down the window halfway so he can stick his sweet little head out and feel the breeze as we drive. On the way to the park, I found myself giggling at how his doggy lips were flapping in the wind. This is a good day, I thought. I got some work done today, and now I’m alone with my dog to watch him run around, sniff the grass, and pee. Good times.
We had a great time. He frolicked between the trees, found some sticks to chew, and nosed around in the bushes. I walked next to him, remembering what life was like before Rooney, when he had me all to himself. Boy, times sure have changed, I thought.
When we got back in the car, I was relaxed and happy. I turned the music up a little higher. Bless The Lord, O My Soul came on. Yeah. That’s my jam. I love that song. It’s one of the songs I ask Rooney if she wants to hear when I put her to bed at night. I started to hum, and I thought about how the Lord has blessed me. I started to think about talking to my soul and telling it to bless the Lord. That sounded funny, but it kind of made sense since my soul walks around with me. I was content in that moment, and I started to sing it out loud.
That’s when it happened. Rowdy, my baby boy in the backseat, stepped back and his little paw hit the button on the bright pink Disney Princess microphone that has somehow made its way from daycare into our car. The song Under The Sea from The Little Mermaid began to play.
No words. Just the musical tune. I knew I couldn’t reach the microphone, but it wouldn’t have mattered. There is no way to turn it off once the button is pushed. Smart, Disney. Real smart. I continued to drive, trying to hear my song over the cheery chirps and chimes of the little pink noisemaker.
It was no use. The noises were jumping happily out of that mic, and they were completely screwing with my ability to hear the song.
What am I trying to do? I’m trying to hear this song about worshipping God, and I’m thinking about what it means to talk to my soul and tell it to bless the Lord. And now, I can’t hear the song and I can’t hear myself because of this stupid microphone.
Doesn’t that happen more often than we think? God makes connections with us. He finds us in simple moments. He convicts us. He challenges us to think about something, and the world tries to steal our attention away from Him. Even when we try to focus on Him, there’s the world, working overtime to pull us back in.
Just like that microphone, we can’t turn it off. We live in it. It is our every day, and there is no easy escape from it. How can we learn to live with the world’s noise turned down when we are submerged in it?
We can’t. Instead, we have to separate ourselves.
Finding the quiet moments in this life is near impossible. That’s where we have to go though, where we can hear God as He whispers to us. There’s really no other way to hear Him otherwise. The world is too loud. Stepping out of life and into His love is where we harness our ability to concentrate. It’s there that we find the freedom and desire to let Him teach us the words to His song.
In my case, it’s parking, grabbing my dog, and exiting the car. His song comes with me. I know the tune. I know the words. And I can leave that microphone right where it is.
In the backseat, where it belongs.