I am an information addict, I like to know a little about everything. I also am a big fan of music and enjoy a large variety of different styles of music. So, what I am about to suggest is very hard for me but when I do it I never regret it. The single best habit for spiritual growth is turning off you car stereo.
Think about the reasons we flip on our radio or cd player as soon as we enter the car. For some, it could be to hear the latest news information, for others it is in hopes of hearing music they like, for others it is to be entertained by humor and schtick. In each one of these cases, we are essentially demanding this electronic device in our car to distract us and we commonly punch around stations and song tracks in hopes of a quick “hit” of a feeling we may be after at the time. We can often be insatiable with this mentality of “give me what I want” and do it now. In our cars, we demonstrate some of our worst addictive behaviors toward technology.
The solution is to take a leg of our commute or a drive to a particular destination and intentionally remove this addiction. I often make my return home from work as my “radio dark” time. It is amazing how many thoughts get suppressed by the simple noise of a car stereo. But, if we want to have an effective prayer life and environment for growth, we need to be honest with our thoughts and worries and then take those to the Lord in prayer. It is not just the bad thoughts that can surface in silence but good thoughts of God’s blessings and our protection under him. All of these thoughts can easily be turned into prayers and praises when there is not something else vying for our attention.
If you are a stay at home Mom or Dad and are never in your car without a child in the car with you it may be a little harder to maintain silence but you can still turn off the car stereo. I have found that my kids are usually more quiet when I have the radio off plus you are teaching your kids that electronic devices to not always have to be on. This lesson could be invaluable to them as they mature and figure out how God interacts with his people. For those that only listen to religious programming, you are not off the hook on this one. Though the message of the song or sermon may be a message of the Gospel, we still need to be willing to practice silence sometimes so that God can more fully speak to us in our current context.
Try it for one week. Pick a 15 minute or longer drive and go dark. Listen for God’s voice and be honest with your thoughts and prayers.