I enjoy skipping with AirPods in my ear, listening to my favourite songs at the start of my gym session. Behind me theres a loud speaker blasting pop songs. It’s very loud even with AirPods’s noise cancelling feature.
Doing nothing, I hear jumbled up music - half pop, half mine. I can choose to turn my AirPods off, but I can’t turn the speaker off - that’s not a decision I can make. I can tune out music from the speakers by focusing on the music in my ears.
Often times though, the speaker is so loud it drowns out the music in my ears. When this happens, I ask for permission to lower its volume. Alternatively, I can turn my AirPods off - but that means I am giving in by listening to music thats not my choice.
After weighing all options, I chose to let both music co-exist. I choose to make peace with jumbled up music. Sometimes, the music in my ear is louder (enjoy it). But sometimes, music from the speakers is louder - its okay too. We can’t always control the noise around us, but we can always choose what we tune in to.
I feel the same way about Christianity. Turning off the loudspeaker doesn't necessarily make you a good Christian. Being a good Christian is when you focus on the music coming from your AirPods. That's certainly easier when the loudspeakers are off, but you can still focus on your AirPods even when the loudspeakers are on.
Thanks to Michele, Jun, James and Alex for reading drafts of this.