Do you know how noise-canceling headphones actually work? The science behind them is pretty cool.
Here’s a hyper-brief summary: They listen to the environment around them and then use the science of waves to attempt to cancel noise around you.
When it comes to waves there are two primary types of interference.
Destructive and Constructive.
Noise canceling headphones operate on the principle of “destructive interference”. They produce a sound wave that is the inverse of the sound waves around you thereby canceling the sound.
They way constructive interference works is by matching sound waves. When one sound wave aligns itself with another the result is the amplification of sound.
It’s really cool how it all works.
The point, from a spiritual perspective, is that when we align ourselves with the teachings of Christ, the song that is God is amplified.
The inverse is also applicable. When we live in opposition to the song of God we become the destructive interference and thereby cancel out the sound of the song in our lives.
It’s a simple yet powerful thought.
In a recent sermon, I tied this idea of destructive and constructive interference of waves to a viral story of the homeless man who used his last $20 to help a lady who ran out of gas and was stranded on the side of the road.
Maybe you’ve heard this one…. really touching story that highlighted the goodness of humanity. The lady who was helped turned around and set up a gofundme campaign for the homeless guy and raised a bunch of money to help the guy. A great story.
I used this story to highlight the idea of constructive interference. That both people aligned themselves with the higher ideals of God and the universe and in doing so the allowed for the song that is God to grow all the louder.
It was a great illustration.
There was, however, one giant problem.
The story didn’t have a happy ending.
After the lady raised all the money for the homeless guy the homeless guy ended up back on drugs and she ended up trying to pocket a large chunk of the money.
My perfect illustration totally backfired.
Or so I thought.
After feeling somewhat embarrassed for celebrating the goodness of humanity only to find out it had a terrible ending. It occurred to me that their awfulness actually served to make my point even stronger.
That when they were taking care of each other they were practicing constructive interference. They were aligning themselves with how things are. With the God who is the foundation of all that is. And because they aligned themselves with him his sound was amplified.
But the inverse is also true.
When they did the terrible things they did they were actually practicing destructive interference. They were no longer aligned with the song that is God. And when they got out of line with everything, the story of their misalignment completely canceled out any of the good they had already done.
It was the backfired illustration that led to a more complete example.
So a big shout out to Johnny Bobbit Jr. and Kacy McClure for being incredible teachers on both living a life that aligns with ultimate reality and on living a life that is out of tune with ultimate reality.
We are forever grateful.
I pray that you will continually seek to align yourself with ultimate reality for sake amplifying the eternal song that is God.