"If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
Many of us are familiar with this age-old philosophical question. We've probably thought about it for a few moments, came to a conclusion and moved on. But I want us to revisit this question just long enough for you to read this article and then you can go back to what you were doing!
The question of sound in this conundrum reminds me of the attitude that many people have about God. In the world that we live in, not much is real to us unless it can play off of one of our senses. If you can't see, touch, smell, taste, or in the case of our question, hear something or someone then we determine that it or they must not be real. This notion is ingrained within us to such a degree that we bring it into our attitudes about God. Everyone seems to be looking for a sign or a miracle to prove God. Today, Christian leaders often teach that there should be some obvious proof that God has moved in your life, and often times it is proposed that God's moving should be evident in our accumulation of material wealth. The materials have been spiritualized and accepted under the label of "Fruit."
At some point, Christians began to chase "fruit" rather than chasing God. "How will people know God loves me if I drive this old car?" "How will people know I'm blessed if I don't have a new suit every week?" "How will people know my relationship with God is real if I'm not bearing 'fruit'?" But the Bible talks about a different type of fruit!
The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You won’t find any law opposed to fruit like this.
Galatians 5:22-23 (VOICE)
You see, the question posed is one about sound; but there is never a question of whether the tree exists, it’s a given. We have missed the mark by chasing after sound and our other senses, neglecting the fact that FRUIT IS ON THE TREE!!!! We've sought some type of status and prestige by sound, sight, touch and all the things that can be experienced by the human senses; meanwhile, someone who could care less about what it sounded it, looked like, or felt like is at the fallen tree… EATING!!!
If you don't feel like you have enough to flaunt, know that what you have is not a representation of who you know! Don’t worry yourself over what other people have, chances are that they are probably malnourished in many other areas of life. Seek the "Invisible" Fruit of the Spirit. And if you are so blessed to have everything you need and want, don't be so quick to judge someone else’s relationship with God just because you didn't hear their tree fall.