Tune in to God by tuning out the world

What and to whom are you listening to these days?

I know people who listen to sports radio whenever they are in the car; who have political pundits playing in the background while they work; who listen to about every genre of music ever recorded; who listen to the Scriptures on tape, CD, and emanating from digital media.

These days I am mostly listening to books. When I walk or take long car trips, I often have someone reading me a good book. My tastes are eclectic. I enjoy a good mystery. I am inspired by biographies. I am interested in exploration. History keeps me grounded. The Scriptures are my life blood.

Often, like now, I am listening to several books alternatively. If you see me in the parks around Cortez with a blank look on my face and wires coming out of my ears, I am enjoying my current book. Wave at me, you will need to do that to get my attention to say hello.

But you know, I have recently discovered “silence is golden.” Last Lent, I resolved not to turn my car radio on while driving locally. When I say locally, that includes trips to Durango, Farmington and other places where I don’t have to put gas in my car to get there.

I thought for sure, that by Easter I would be chomping at the bit to listen to the radio again, or plug a book into the car’s CD player. Then one day last summer, driving back from Durango one day, I realized I did not have the radio on and I didn’t miss it! I was enjoying the quiet (praying). I was thinking about important things in my life (praying). I was lifting up people in my life, my community, country and this crazy world (praying). In other words, I was spending quality time with my God.

Then I began to notice that at home the TV was off way more often than it was on. I can’t remember the last time I flipped on the radio at home or church. Sometimes I do youtube some of my favorites. I won’t walk without listening to my books. I don’t believe in going overboard on anything including quiet time.

In my mind, these reflections are not the preamble to a diatribe against noise pollution or any type of music or talk shows or any other criticisms. On the other hand, I don’t consider my intentional quiet time a type of centering prayer. To me, this isn’t a time of meditation. This isn’t anything else I can really put a label on.

I am simply enjoying the a little quiet time, with my Lord and Savior, just as sometimes I enjoy quiet time with my wife, kids, and dear friends. This quiet time has no agenda.

I am asking you to let a little silence into your relationship with your God. It is as simple as that. It has made a difference in my life.

Steve Nofel is co-pastor at Montezuma Valley Presbyterian Church in Cortez.