As a young person, I really liked to listen to my favorite rock ‘n roll groups – The Beach Boys, Three Dog Night, Styx, Chicago and several others. I was always into the better stereo stuff – in the old days it was Panasonic or Pioneer, and when I was in my mid twenties, I stepped up to Onkyo, Nakamichi, Bang & Olufsen and other very high end manufacturers. Of course, I knew all the groups and even took part in the design of amplifier cases for Fisher Stereo in Milroy, PA back when I was 23. I also worked with several speaker manufacturers and ended up designing speaker grills in the mid to late 1970’s. In other words, I was really into music back in those days.
But somewhere a number a years ago, time began to stand still for me. I really didn’t care for some of the new music and then all the formats changed from cassette and 8-track to more advanced mediums and I just never thought that I could catch up and keep things in my collection fresh. So I made a conscious decision to stop buying albums and just stick with what I really knew and liked. So now, even if I really like something on the radio or at a live performance, it is very rare for me to add it to my collection. In fact, I think the last CD I bought was the soundtrack for the musical “Wicked.”
Nowadays, my collection is housed in iTunes, but I rarely listen. When I travel, I have Bose headphones and several pairs of Bose earbuds but rarely use them. When I used to perform weddings, Andrew, who ran sound for me, hooked up some of the best equipment in the business, but it sits in the garage most of the time these days. And the only time that I ever listen to music is when I am exercising and even then, it is a rarity. I hate talk radio but I admit that I do like to listen to the Dallas Theological Seminary video podcasts on my iPad.
So it’s something of an oxymoron that I own all this equipment and don’t use it. So what do I do when I am driving in the car? Well, I enjoy radio silence – that’s right. I don’t listen to anything. I remember that when I was a youngster my Dad used to tell me about the days when he served in WWII. He broke enemy code, but there were many times when they had to maintain radio silence. And I can’t tell you how many war movies I have seen where the commanders of submarines have demanded silence from their crews.
So now, in the midst of all that silence in the car, I pray or I think or I listen – to silence. When Janet is with me, I know that she would like to listen to something, but we rarely do. Instead, we talk and engage in the lively art of conversation. In fact, we would rather drive to a destination than fly – even if it is 10 or 12 hours away. It gives us time together and believe it or not, sometimes we drive for a day or two and the radio never even goes on. I think that it’s an accommodation that she makes for me.
My life is so busy that I rarely get time to just chill out. That time behind the wheel has become sacred time. Really… Usually, just time between me and God. Sometimes, my best ideas are born while I’m driving somewhere. And I have come to cherish the silence of the radio. Who would have ever thought?
So rather than ramble on and on, I think I will just get to the verse of the evening. Then, before I hit the sack this evening, I can just spend a few minutes enjoying the silence. So here goes – from Habakkuk 2:20, “But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” Need I say more?
My encouragement this evening is to remind you that God enjoys His quiet time with you. You are important to Him and silence is one of the spiritual pathways that God uses to connect with us. My prayer is that you will spend more time with the Father – away from the distractions of the world and in communion with the God of the universe. Preferably in silence and thought. Shhhhh… Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…