Thursday, March 08, 2012

Are You Noisy?

When I wrote about the idea of vocation inspired by the song "Make a Noise" by Katie Herzig, I didn't mention two things:  what made me laugh about it or what bothered me about it.  One word:  noise.

When I hear the phrase "make a noise", I am reminded of a conversation I had one time with one of my sisters. As was typical, she was giving me a hard time about singing off-key (I am hopeless when it comes to singing or anything musical).  I said to her that the Bible says "make a joyful noise1", not necessarily an on-key one.  She retorted with something like "yeah, and it is a noise".  I think I probably just made a face at her at that point and walked away or pouted or did something extremely mature like that.

I find myself bombarded with noise:  the television or my kids or my cats or the train going by multiple times per day or anything political on tv, Facebook and Twitter or even my own voice talking to my kids answering their questions or telling them to get dressed or threatening time out or or get the idea.  I think of the line in How the Grinch Stole Christmas where the Grinch is thinking about all the "noise noise noise noise noise".  I think this is one reason I rarely listen to music anymore; I enjoy when there is silence all around me.  I find it peaceful when I can drink a cup of peppermint tea after the kids have gone to bed and I can just relax.  I don't really like being surrounded with noise.

The word "noise" itself kind of bothers me.  It felt almost discordant when I first saw the name of the song and listened to it, because it's a word that feels unsettling.  It's not an elegant, pretty word.  It's definition and synonyms are not elegant or pretty either:

Definition:       sound that is loud or not harmonious
Synonyms: babble, babel, bang, bedlam, bellow, bewailing, blare, blast, boisterousness, boom, buzz, cacophony, caterwauling, clamor, clang, clatter, commotion, crash, cry, detonation, din, discord, disquiet, disquietude, drumming, eruption, explosion, fanfare, fireworks, fracas*, fuss*, hoo-ha, hubbub, hullabaloo*, jangle, lamentation, outcry, pandemonium, peal, racket, ring, roar, row, shot, shouting, sonance, squawk, stridency, talk, thud, tumult, turbulence, uproar, uproariousness, yelling, yelp

I think that is the point of the song.  In order to be ourselves and live out our passions and dreams, we have to shed the fear of not appearing put-together.  We have to not worry about what others will think of us if we do not do what is expected or if our life seems off-key.  We have to have the courage to go where we are called to go and to be who we are called to be, even if it means we will be loud and not harmonious.

I may not know what my noise is supposed to be, but I can certainly encourage you in your noise.

Make a noise.  Be Boisterous.   Caterwaul, clamor, or clang.  Cry out.  In the journey of your life, find your calling in the din, dicord, and disquiet moments.  Roar with what you want to say to the world.  Shout in the tumult.  Cause an uproar.  Make a noise. 

1 References to making a joyful noise:  

Psalm 66:1-2   Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;  sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise.  Psalm 95:1-2   O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!  Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!  Psalm 98:4   Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.  Psalm 98:6  With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD.  Psalm 100:1  Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.

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