Admittedly, I am not a cool person. I do have a cool brother, and occasionally, he rubs off on me. His recent contribution to my hipness level came via a birthday gift - an ipod nano. My first thought, obvious evidence of my uncoolness, was that I wouldn’t use this. I just don’t listen to that much music. But then I made a discovery, the great thing about the ipod is that it doesn’t care whether I’m cool or not. In fact, it doesn’t care if I fill it up with the top 25 of the music charts or with Spanish conversation lessons and audio books on theology (my current playlist).
Now, if a person looks at me with my white earbuds in and silver nano in hand, they might think to themselves, “That guy’s pretty cool.” By all outward appearances I would fit in with the ipod wearing, music listening crowd. If they only knew what was on the inside of my nano, on my playlist, they’d realize I’m still the same old nerd (I couldn’t even tell you one song on the Billboard top 25 list). It’s amazing, though, how outward appearances can shape our impressions. Even though I know what I’m listening to, I still feel a little bit cooler just for having the latest gadget out for everyone to see.
The Bible constantly reminds us, though, it’s not what’s on the outside that matters most. In this week’s sermon text, the prophet Samuel reminds us, “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). In many ways, we are God’s ipods. What matters most is not the fancy duds we put on the outside of our lives, but literally the songs that are written upon our hearts. What’s on the playlist of your heart today? Is it a song the Lord will enjoy?
“Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” Ephesians 5:19-20.