Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion May 2, 2018

I remember my first pair of headphones.  So now we have to analyze that statement - it is very odd that the thought of my first pair of headphones came to me the other day but for some reason it did.  I wish remembering why I came into a room or where I put my keys or the name of the person I am trying to think of would come to me so easily but not to be….. It wasn’t something important I remembered, it was simply this flash of the first set of headphones that came to my mind.
I remember I was probably in junior high school then (junior high school was before the days of middle school but they are essentially the same things) and I imagine I was given them because my father didn’t want to listen to ‘my music’ which I listened to all the time, usually pretty loudly.  I was a voracious 45 buyer (so if you know right off the bat what I meant by that it shows your age - and if you don’t know what I am talking about 45s were small black plastic discs that contained one song on one side and another song on the other side.  The popular song was considered the A side and the ‘other’ song was the B side.  They had a large hole in the center and you put a little plastic disk in the middle so you could play this small record on your record player (the name ‘turntable’ came later when they were trying to make a record player sound cool…..)  Every Friday when I received my paycheck from my job at the snack bar at the local drug store my first stop on the way home was the record store where I would buy the latest ‘single’.  Every now and then I would spring for a whole album…
Then you would find me in my bedroom playing my music….. And I am thinking that is why my dad came home one day and gifted me with a pair of headphones.  
They were big and black and had round padded cushions which fit entirely over your ears with the headband thing attached so you put them over your head and unlike more ‘modern’ headphones they were really heavy and had a heavy black cord attached that you would plug into your record player which means that as long as you were listening to music you were pretty much attached to the music conveyance - none of that portable stuff back in those days with the dinosaurs.  
I guess there was one portable device I had that played music and that was my transistor radio.  I had a little transistor radio in a leather case that would pick up the local radio station that played all varieties of music throughout the day but would play top 40 in the evenings when all of us ‘youngsters’ would listen to our favorite songs.  The show was one of those call in ones where you could call in and request a song and dedicate it to someone which was a sneaky way to let a boy you hoped listened to the radio in the evenings know that you were ‘sweet’ on him.  
What was really funny was that a whole bunch of us girls would sit on the phone (which was attached to the wall in the kitchen) and talk to each other as we listened to the songs on the radio and to the dedications called in my us and others.  You could only talk to one person at a time so there was a whole lot of hanging up and calling another person and hanging up and calling another person and so forth for hours - or until the person who had a party line with you would break in and say they needed the phone and you would have to hang up for a while - and then you would every so often pick up the phone and see if the party line person was still talking…..
Somehow we veered off from headphones (altho that little transistor radio had a type of headphone - it was a small bit of wire attached to the radio that had one single black but that went into your ear - didn't work very well but it did the job at times.... ) so I guess it is all tied together. 

Back to my heavy, cumbersome headphones which I can call them that now because headphones today don’t quite resemble that premier headphone….  Well, let me rephrase that.  There are headphones which resemble those brand new headphones I had 60 years ago, but now the type of headphones of today are a lot lighter and a lot snazzier and I imagine a lot more efficient.  There was definitely a quality issue with those original headphones cause you could hear the music but things sounded a little tinny but I didn’t know the difference back then and they certainly served the purpose for my dad - which was not having to listen to my music which he would critique often in great detail….

But now headphones are of a whole different generation of style and comfort and quality.  My granddaughters have headphones which in some ways resemble my original headphones, but they certainly are a lot cooler - one granddaughter has Thomas the Tank Engine headphones and the other has girly camouflage (you know, pink instead of green in the camouflage swirls!) and I guess you can get headphones that are decorated in about any way you want them!

Headphones now-a-days have a quality where you put them on and begin to listen  you can hear all the sounds and all the instruments and all the nuances and if you close your eyes you can feel like the music is all around you and sounds ‘live’ (Remember those commercials where the tag line was ‘Is it real or is it Memorex?’ - it is the age thing again!)  
Today’s headphones certainly give you that ‘real’ quality and you don’t have to have large black clunky uncomfortable heavy headphones, you can have small little ones that fit into your ears and produce a better sound that the big black old ones and there are little small ones that fit into your ears that aren’t even attached to a cord attached to anything that allow you to hear music from some device - which can be odd sometimes when you see someone walking along obviously listening to some type of music and you can’t see any headphones anywhere…. Makes me wonder when they will perfect this bluetooth thing to the point when our brains can just hear the music without any type of headphone or ear plug thing at all!   It will happen.
I still use headphones but that original clunky less than optimal quality (altho at the time I thought it was the greatest invention I could have and I thought they sounded perfect!) are a thing of the past - I think I blew out the speaker that was in one of the ear pieces (which is now when my husband will nod his head cause he thinks I still listen to my music too loudly).  Today, I actually have two pair of headphones, one of those white cord type of headphone which fits into my iPhone and has those little plastic tips that you put snugly into your ears - and that little cord even has a microphone which I have never used but assumably you can talk on the phone with it while the headphones are in your ears - but then that would interfere with my music listening!
Then at Christmas I purchased a pair of noise cancelling blue tooth headphones which were a necessity if I was going to get any sleep.  Now these headphones are a little strange in that there is no wire to attach it to anything and the little plastic pieces fit into your ears but the plastic part of the headphone hangs on behind your neck…  Took me a long while to figure this thing out as there are all these little tiny buttons on the plastic portion of the headphone that have to be punched in the right order in order for the music to actually begin to play through the little ear bud things in your ear.  They are nice and they do work but sometimes I reach to get them and use them but my brain says, “I don’t have time right now to go through the proper sequence of events in order to get these headphones to work so we just won’t use them right now….”
Do you ever feel that way when you get ready to pray to God?  Do you ever feel like you need to go through a series of steps or follow a prescribed order of what you need to say or ask for or give thanks for?  Do you ever feel like you need to pray in the ‘proper’ way or it won’t work? 
God is not like complicated bluetooth noise cancelling headphones.  God doesn’t need you to do anything complicated or formal or ‘correct’ in order to talk to him.  You don’t need any type of special connection or any type of device other than your words.  
You don’t have to go get anything, or plug anything in or properly place anything, or charge anything, you just talk.  You can talk out loud, you can talk in your mind, you can write it down.  Doesn’t matter.  All God wants is for you talk to him  from your heart and he will hear you - guaranteed.  
Our connections to God are always there and God is always listening and God is eager to hear what you have to say and what you think and what you worry about and what your enjoy and just about anything you want to talk to him about.  Nothing is too trivial, nothing is too hard, nothing is too personal.
All you have to do to talk to God, is talk.