Even just writing the phrase ‘annoying sounds’ can bring up memories of what drives you crazy. We all have those sounds in our life that are the ultimate fingers on a chalk board. Maybe it’s someones voice, construction, musical preference, someones ring tone, kids screaming or the fear of your name being called by a teacher. What ever the reason for the sound, that annoys you, its annoying!
This week I have that annoying sound kicking in bright and early. It is the sound of a jack hammer! Not figuratively speaking, but an actual jack hammer. My office shares a wall with a once vacant downtown building. In that building next door they are exposing the 100 year old brick on their walls. They have been extremely polite about it, offering to work nights and bring free gifts when they finally open up. They are going to be great neighbours! But when you realize that there is no insulation between the two of us and this one brick wall, noise travels! The noise actually sounds like they hooked up a pa system and have put a microphone on the jack hammer! My MacBook speakers cannot go loud enough to drown out the sounds of concrete destruction. If I wasn’t so cheap I would be working at one of our great downtown coffee shops. Instead I sit here and type, thinking about what errands I could be running or coffees I could arrange with a friend.
So here is the upside and the point to what probably seems like complaining. 4 years ago, we were that noisy neighbour. That annoying group of ”happy clappy’ church goers renovating a building at all hours of day and night trying to meet a deadline. Now the tables have turned and the new neighbours need our grace. Just like grace was extended to us we are now the distributors of peaceful relationships. Construction is a mess and it makes noise. Often construction takes demolition before it can begin.
This sounds much life our daily lives. As we learn how to adult and grow as people it’s going to get messy and loud. There is going to be much noise coming from our lives. That’s right, we need to remember that we make noise too, and for some it is not a good noise. In fact it could be down right annoying. Grace, grace and more grace. It is easy to expect grace from others at all hours, but hard to give grace even at the most convenient times from our own grace stock pile. We also get very used to our mess and almost comfortable in it. Our mess never looks as bad as our neighbours. They are way louder than me, and far more frustrating. Right?
As we ask God to make us better people and under go the deconstruct and construction processes, we should assume that other people are doing the same thing! That would explain all the noise in our day to day journeys. The noise of stress, drama, opinions, arguments and what ever else gets in the way of peace.
So when those noises of voices, issues and drama drive you crazy… just remember, you are probably driving people crazy too! Your friends are usually just polite enough to ignore the noise during construction. That right there is how to deal with the construction noise in our lives, have grace – smile – and let God continue to work. You are not responsible to change the construction schedule of my life, nor am I responsible for yours.
Plus at the end of the day, their new building will be very cool, and the whole neighbourhood will enjoy another vacant building turned into a life giving stream of community engagement. People coming downtown, transforming it into something great once again! That is what we pray for as a church, so when it happens we should be pretty excited!