Read Ecclesiastes 4:6
“Better to have one handful with quietness
than two handfuls with hard work
and chasing the wind.” (NLT)
Once upon a time,children’s parties were simple affairs. Pass the Parcel and fairy bread were about the sum total of entertainment. Now a whole industry has been birthed to provide so much more for our young consumers. Celebration has to be elaborate,and thus expensive!
A similar mindset can afflict our churches. Our gatherings have to be bigger and have more packed in to them. We need to draw a crowd and thus need to provide plenty to keep them attentive and attracted. So often this comes with noise. It seems that in order to praise God we have to amplify the volume. Loudness equals fervency,slick technology equals worship.
To all such attitudes this text offers an alternative. Our desperate activism,our attempts to generate enthusiasm by turning up the volume,our tendency to think we can only celebrate if there is a big crowd and lots of noise and activity-all this is perhaps ‘chasing the wind’. An exercise in human-centred futility.
It is possible to celebrate simply,to praise quietly,to attract people gently. Nothing wrong,of course,with loud music or elaborate parties for that matter. But if all this becomes the norm,becomes the measure of success,then we have taken a dangerous wrong turn. The God whom we worship,after all,speaks not so much in earthquake,wind and fire,but in a gentle whisper. Will we ever be quiet enough to hear him?