What’d Yah Say?
Remember when you were a kid and you sat around with your friends asking questions like, “Would you rather be deaf or blind?” I hated this stupid question. Everybody would weigh in on which would be worse, but both seemed horrific to me.
I’d be thinking, I’d rather be deaf, when somebody would add their two cents worth of wisdom, “You’d never be able to listen to music, and you’d have nobody to talk to cause hardly anybody knows sign language.” The very idea evoked feelings of great loneliness for me.
At the same time, the idea of stumbling blindly through life was equally disturbing. Do blind people see darkness or nothingness? This question haunted me. Either way, to never see green trees, golden wheat fields, sunsets, mountains, water falls, I wanted to weep at the very idea.
In an attempt to make an educated decision on this thing that would probably never happen; and even if it did, I wouldn’t have a choice in the matter, I’d ask, “Do blind people get seasonal affective disorder? They can’t see light. Do they need to see the light, or does it just seep through their skin?”
“Hmm,” my friends would respond, “that’s a good question.” But nobody ever knew the answer.
Trying to put an end to the gloomy topic, I’d say, “Well, you don’t get to choose. It just happens.” I took comfort in the fact that whichever was worse, I wouldn’t be responsible for making the wrong decision.
Several months ago I noticed that whenever I answered the phone, I had to put the receiver to my right ear. I was having trouble hearing out of the left one. I also noticed I was saying, “What?” way too much.
No biggie; I was pretty sure I knew what the problem was – wax buildup. So I asked my doctor to flush out my ear. She got out her audio scope and peered into my ear. “Clean as a whistle,” she said cheerfully. “Your eardrum looks very healthy.”
Then she rubbed her fingers together on either side of my head and asked if I could hear the sound. I nodded my head.
Then she pulled a funny little instrument out of a drawer, banged it against the palm of her hand, held it to my forehead and said, “Does this sound louder in your left ear or your right ear?”
I waited for the sound and after several seconds asked, “What am I listening for?”
For the first time, her forehead crinkled into a little frown. “You can’t hear that? I can hear it from here.”
She pounded it against her palm and now held it close to my ear. I heard a humming, vibrating sound.
“There, now that you know what you’re listening for, let’s try again.” She pounded it against her palm one last time and held it to my forehead.
“I don’t hear it.”
“In either ear?” Her voice was incredulous.
“I don’t,” and now my voice, what I could hear of it, sounded worried to me.
Patting me on the shoulder she said, “These tests are very inconclusive,” in what I suppose was her idea of an encouraging voice. “Let’s have you see a specialist.”
The old game of “Would you rather…” played out in my head over the next several days, and I started to think a lot about choices.
We do get to decide most things. God has given us a mind and the ability to make and follow our choices, and unlike the “Would You Rather” game, rarely is it difficult to know which choice is the right one to make. But knowing what is right and doing what is right are worlds apart.
Recently I came across a couple of verses in Psalms that intrigued me. Chapter 25:12-13 “Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the earth.
The verse indicates that God will choose how we are to be taught, yet we control the choice because He will teach those who fear Him, and those who fear him will lead prosperous lives.
The word “choose” is the same Hebrew word used in that famous Joshua passage where he states, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.”
Joshua said, “…this day…” When you come right down to it, we must daily make the choice to follow God.
I’m not sure what’s going on with my ears – that is beyond my control; but with God’s help, I’m going to keep choosing to follow Him.