(This post was written by Michael Wallace, High School Pastor)
Recently I was given the opportunity to do something that I have wanted to do since moving to Knoxville over a year ago: experience a University of Tennessee sporting event! On this special night we packed up the car and headed for Thompson-Bowling Arena to see the Lady Vols in a good ol’ SEC showdown. Our anticipation rose as we parked the car and walked into the stadium. As I expected, the color orange was everywhere…including on us!
Minutes before the game started we prepared for one of my favorite traditions: the national anthem. Three young ladies walked out onto the court with smiling faces ready to lead the crowd in a 2 minute celebration of the great United States. And then…it happened.
We could tell immediately that the microphones were not working properly. The jumbo-tron TV screens showed all three girls mouths moving, but their voices were barely audible. Within about 10 seconds, thousands of fans shifted from a level of quiet whisper to complete silence.
From the nosebleed section in 311-A I expected that we wouldn’t be able to hear the girls sing at all, but to my shock, their voices seemed to get stronger with each note. I glanced around the stadium to see thousands leaning in and paying more attention to the national anthem than perhaps they ever had before. And by the time the song was over, three girls who could have easily been embarrassed by the situation received a standing ovation for a solid 30 seconds.
After we finished clapping and the game ball was tipped, two things echoed in my mind:
1. The girls kept singing. Instead of stopping mid-verse to request that the mics get fixed, they stayed focused and did what they came to do. Their role was clear to them, and they were going to sing whether people could hear them or not.
2. The crowd listened more intently. I think we all feel the need to shout every once in a while. Whether its as parents or teachers, employees or bosses, we all find ourselves in a position where our voice needs to be heard above everyone else’s. However, if what we have to say is worth listening to, people will listen. They will actually lean in to hear more clearly what we are communicating!
The Bible promises in Isaiah 55:11 that God’s Word will not return void…speaking His Word will always make an impact. Whether you are a parent, spouse, student or volunteer, keep speaking truth and building into those around you.