There was a point in my life when I couldn’t stand silence. In the car there had to be music, at home something had to be playing. Whether it was the tv or stereo didn’t matter. Something had to be on. There was way too many memories and issues that were too close to the surface. Thinking about such things hurt. They reminded me of bad times and all the hurt I had caused.
I had an old truck that was given to me by a good friend. I loved that truck. He had rebuilt the motor, painted the body and put nice tires on it. No radio of any kind. But the silence was kept at bay with the off road tires whining as I rode by.
I finally had the opportunity to get a kickin stereo for the truck. Boxed up the speakers, connected the amp and mounted the head unit. I was all set for the test ride. Now this logic made no sense at all. Why would I need to drive the truck to see how it would sound? I could hear it just fine sitting still. It was awesome. Driving it to see how it would sound wouldn’t improve it one way or another.
I remember clearly driving through the small town we lived in. Stereo cranked, The Allman Brothers playing one of my favorite tunes with the windows rolled down. It pierced the silence on that spring day. Southern rock and cool weather are powerful tools. I laid my arm out the window, seemed to wave at everyone, had my head bobbin while I was slow groovin down the road.
After I got home, I sat in the yard again in silence. I realized that those memories I had tried to cover up with noise had long since been covered by Christ. Those hurts that had produced such guilt and shame had been redeemed by a loving savior. Those fears of inadequacy and un forgiveness were attacks from an enemy and defeated at the cross. Failure had been turned into purpose and ashes and sorrow had been exchanged for beauty and wonder.
There are times when issues rise up. A former way of thinking, a way of acting, a trait that used to define us. 2 Cor 5:17 says “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold! New things have come.” The best thing about this truth is that it didn’t happen just one time. It happens each day. Each day we are being made new. Being conformed in the image of Christ.
After sitting there in my truck on that spring day, Christ reminded me of something that is still with me. I am new. The sun seemed brighter, the air was crisper, my wife was more beautiful, my kids were more wonderful. And my faith was stronger.
So I did what any one would do. Went for another ride. Listened to the entire Allman Brothers “Live at the Fillmore” CD with a smile on my face and freedom in my heart.
Take a ride. Enjoy being made new.