Oh Be Careful Little Ears

When I taught preschool we used to sing this little song quite often. “Oh be careful little ears what you hear, oh be careful little ears what you hear, for the Father up above is looking down with love, so be careful little ears what you hear.”

I was recently on a road trip and that song popped into my mind. I have fabulous comforts in my car and I really enjoy being able to go for a long drive. We had been listening to a Sirius station for the past few weeks. All the current top hits and the witty banter in the mornings. My teens love to listen to it.

On this particular day, alone in the car for 4 hours, I couldn’t listen to that top hit play one. more. time. I hit the button on the carIMG_0207 to link to my phone and brought up some Christian music I had recently downloaded. The lyrics immediately began to soothe my soul. And rather than just singing or humming along I found myself in conversation with God. For 4 hours.

We talked about a lot. There were moments of praise of how Holy He is, thanks for how beautiful His creation is that I was driving through, recognition for all that He is blessing me with. There were some hard conversations too.   Jesus showed me some forgiveness I needed to extend. And He reminded me of His promises and His faithfulness in my life.

I loved that time with Him. Then the though occurred, what if I had kept on the other station during this whole drive. Surely there would have been a bit of conversation with Jesus, but not this much. Instead of my mind being drawn to scripture and Him, it could have been drawn down a dark road filled with popular melodies.

If that was what could have been filling my mind, what has been influencing and filling the minds of my teenagers? They have enough worldly troubles to deal with as it is, so why overfill them with the strong lyrics of today? I’m not saying they need to only listen to gospel choirs or chanting monks. But they also shouldn’t only be filled with popular lyrics that encourage fleeting emotions and a self focus. There needs to be a balance, hopefully with the scales tipping towards music that connects them to God. Lyrics that remind them of how great He is, that He is enough, that He loves them completely, and they are His.

I’m not saying I’m perfect at this either. I sometimes get swayed by the hypnotic tunes that can fill my ears. But I also know that music is one way that I hear from God. He uses lyrics to remind me of His truth, to draw me to Him and His scriptures, answering my questions and calming my soul. So why would I continue to fill myself with fluff that doesn’t lead me to Him?

These thoughts have challenged me and I pray they do the same for you. As you contemplate them just remember, “be careful little ears what you hear…”

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Anticipation of Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve. Even the words evoke so many memories made and the anticipation of new ones. I fondly recall many late night Christmas Eves when my children were little. Getting cookies set out, reading the Christmas story, pictures in pjs around the Christmas tree. Then after they were tucked snugly in bed the frenzy would begin. Wrapping the rest of the presents, finishing the baking, then cleaning the mess of it all. I was usually done around 1 am, just in time for Mass from St Peter’s Basillica to come on the television. I loved that moment. Exhausted, but everything was prepared for my family and I had a moment to sit. Sit in anticipation of what the day would bring. Sit in appreciation that somehow it had all come together. Sit in awe of Jesus, come to earth.

I’m a bit older now, a bit more prepared, a bit more practiced. It’s Christmas eve morning. The presents have been wrapped for two weeks, the house is clean, the treats all baked. My oldest son will here tonight (and probably will refuse pictures around the tree). I’m on staff at a church now, so I get to be an active participant in our Christmas Eve services, rather than listening to a catholic tradition on the tv. I still feel anticipation, appreciation, and awe.

I’m taking a few moments before the busyness of the day kicks in. I read the Christmas story in Luke. I have some music on. I find myself getting lost in these lyrics from Bethel Music:

What can I do for You

What can I bring to You

What kind of song would You like me to sing

‘Cause I’ll dance a dance for You

Pour out my love to You

What can I do for You, beautiful King

 

‘Cause I can’t thank You enough

‘Cause I can’t thank You enough

I’m filled with anticipation for the services tonight, for the day with family and friends tomorrow, for the plans He has for me in the New Year. The lyrics though remind me to sit in worship of Him. To find that stillness now, to focus on the peace and joy that was brought to earth all those years ago, to focus on gratitude for Him. I can’t even find all the right words to say thank you. I feel like I need to do something to show my love, my faith. I need to be better, be stronger, share my faith more. A bit of anxiety starts to mix in with the anticipation. And then rest of the lyrics just get me. He takes me to that still place with Him:

Then I hear you saying to me

Listen, you don’t have to do a thing

Just simply be with me

and let those things go

‘Cause they can wait another minute

Wait, this moment is too sweet

Would you please stay here, here with me

And love on me a little longer

 

I hear you sayingIMG_9879

You don’t have to do a thing

Just simply be with me

and let those things go

‘Cause they can wait another minute

Wait, this moment is too sweet

Would you please stay here, here with me

And love on me a little longer

 

’cause I like to be with you a little longer

 

I’m letting go and sitting in the stillness with Him.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

**lyrics from Bethel Music, “A Little Longer”