Wind machines and white noise


It’s spring time in apple country. Living in the land of apples and hops (as my friend Gretchen calls it), tends to translate spring to windy days, snowless terrain, and orchards upon orchards and rows upon rows of flowering fruit trees. Washington country life is ridiculously beautiful, especially in the spring.

wind machineSurrounded by orchards, for me, spring brings with it another element: wind machines. Many Pacific Northwest orchards use wind machines to protect their crops against the spring’s harsh overnight temperatures.


The giant machines use their 18-20 foot blades to circulate frigid air through the orchards, preventing moisture from settling on the fragile buds and turning to frost.  Frost can wipe out an entire crop of fruit if ignored. They often are programmed to automatically turn on around 31 degrees.

I always have a difficult time sleeping the first night of the season that they kick on. Imagine falling asleep directly outside of an airport. Sleeping in a house near wind machines is similar.  The sound of a jet engine isn’t usually a person’s first choice of a late-night lullaby.


It seems as if every spring the orchards bloom and, at night, the wind machines kick on.  Every year I think they are louder than the year before. And every year, within a couple days, I forget they are even running.


How do you forget about something that sounds like a jet? That is a great question.  I don’t know why it happens, but it does.  The wind machines become my white noise.

While reading my bible a couple days ago, I heard God tell me I was treating Him as if he was a wind machine. I was shocked.  What did that mean? I don’t even interact with wind machines.  At first, it sounded like a ridiculous thing to say to someone.  As I set my bible in my lap, I pondered the statement.

Lately I have been trying to be more intentional in how I seek God, how I read His word, and how I listen for His voice.  I really truly want to be a woman who walks in His likeness, who hears His voice clearly and who responds quickly and accurately to what He has communicated.  I want to be someone whom others look at and say, “Whoa, she must know Jesus.”

God brought me back around to the fuel-powered windmills.  God had brought them back in to my focus, gently showing me that like the wind machines, His voice had just become something that occupied my background.  It was just a subtle noise I had learned to tune out, only paying attention when someone brought it to my attention. Seeking God had become just a routine. He was still speaking, I had just forgot how to listen.

Whoa.  How do you listen and obey something you can’t hear? 

You re-learn to listen, to hear.


While I may be satisfied with turning the wind machines to white noise, I am not satisfied with turning Jesus into it.  But seriously, how often do we do this? We have made Him common.  We have learned to tune out His voice so we can conveniently (and figuratively) sleep through the night. We have become sleepers in our faith.

I can’t speak for you, but I can speak from myself. I don’t want to reduce my God to a background noise I rarely ever hear.  I want to learn how to seek Him daily, to become familiar with His voice, to hear Him when He speaks to me. I want His words to impact me and change my life.

I don’t want to be a faith-sleeper. 



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