Too Much Noise

The human ear is a strange appendage. Ears come in all sizes and shapes; they are the delight of the cartoonist, who can capture caricatures easily by exaggerating their angles. The appendix and the coccyx have been dubbed “vestigial appendices” by those convinced of their relatively useless functional value. No one has ever called the ear “vestigial,” as its value is not so much cosmetic but functional. Jesus put it succinctly: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable responsibilities, among which are love, obedience, and the pursuit of vocation. These may be summed up with one four-letter word that has become a modern-day obscenity: duty. Duty involves answering a summons, responding to an obligation, and heeding a call.

Our ears are assaulted daily by a cacophony of sounds making it difficult at times to distinguish between a bona fide call and senseless noise. We get phone calls, fire calls, wake-up calls, cat calls, crank calls, house calls, bad calls (by referees), and late calls for dinner. We get calls from our bosses, our teachers, and Uncle Sam; calls to departure gates, sales calls, and nature calls.

Only one call carries the force of absolute and ultimate obligation. I may ignore my phone calls and defy even the call of Uncle Sam, fleeing to Canada while nursing a hope for future amnesty. The call of God may also be ignored or disobeyed, but never with impunity. I may marry Betty or Sally and live in Chicago or Tuscaloosa. I may build a small house or a big house, or even live in an apartment. I can drive a Cadillac or a Honda—it’s a free country. With respect to vocation, however, it is not a free universe. One absolute, nonnegotiable requirement of my life is that I be true to my vocation. This is my duty.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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