Quick... slow... slow
"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."
Yesterday at a choir rehearsal we broke from our rows and stood in a large circle beside folks from other parts. We again took up the new piece of music we had been rehearsing. In our circle we tried to listen across parts — to hear the section with the lowest notes, the basses of course, so that we could, as an ensemble, match their dynamic and create a tuned, balanced group sound. And we did.
I have heard many times that the sound we hear when we sing is not the same as the sound everyone around us hears from us. Ironically, if what we are singing sounds good to us, then it probably doesn’t sound as good to the listener. We hear our own voices transmitted both through air conduction and through bone conduction. Our bones add resonance and depth to the sound we perceive. Others only hear what we launch through air conduction.
At our Epiphany service this month I chose a word and corresponding Bible verse to focus on this year; I chose “Listen” which came with the verse above. I am well aware that being slow to speak and anger are worthy goals (and I acknowledge weaknesses there) — but I am going to sit with “listen” this year and see if that practice can help me moderate the other inclinations.
God: Help me listen to the sounds outside of my own head, not to be misled by my own resonance, to pay close attention to the group, and to seek balance — all in my life as a whole.