I think I often take advantage of car rides.
I am spending some time in July at home in New Orleans. Going into this time, I realized it was going to be a time of stillness. But once it set in, I realized how restless I am in the midst of stillness.
I have recently been borrowing my brother’s Jeep Liberty. This car doesn’t have an auxiliary input, so obviously, I strategized – God forbid I be left with silence for twenty minutes.
Some days, I tried to position my phone in a cup holder, but this failed as the sound of the air conditioning easily trumped my puny iPhone speaker.
Other days, I simply turned off the air conditioning so I could hear the faint noises of “O” by Coldplay. That plan soon failed in the New Orleans humidity. So it was either a visit to the sauna in my car or silence.
Rare days, I rummaged through my few radio options: Dad rock, Pop 40, or the Spanish station, which was the most frequent selection.
One day, I attempted to get into my brother’s CD taste, but even after I got slightly acquainted with Rage Against the Machine and his Techno taste, I realized his speaker had blown out, so I was ultimately left with one option.
I never realized how determined I was to avoid this.
This hit me three days ago as my phone was in the cup holder. It was overcast, so I was surviving without the air conditioning. Then, the rain started to hit the windows. The noises of “Smother” by Daughter slowly faded. I tried harder than anything to focus completely on the song, so I could hear the lyrics. But it was hopeless.
I turned Spotify off, and I heard only the sound of the rain. Immediately, God began to speak to me.
You seem to put so much effort into listening to every other noise in your life than the sound of my voice.
You went to extreme efforts to listen to that song. Is that the effort you put toward hearing my voice?
Now I have you here with just me, and you can hear me.
Listen to the things I have to say to you, for they aren’t few, but boundless.
For the next twenty minutes, I sat in that car, and, though it was “silent,” God was speaking.
I am discovering that the most silent moments are actually not silent at all when the voice of God intervenes. In fact, when I turned off the music, God began to give me melodies to sing on the way home. But these melodies brought more than entertainment or consolation, but divine revelation.
When I drive, I take myself from one place to another. Now, without all of the noise, I am giving God the chance to guide me and give me direction.
While I am in complete support of rolling down the windows at moments and blasting One Direction on a summer night, I encourage you to take a moment to turn off the music and drive in the quiet. I promise you, it will not be silent.
“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.
Let him sit alone in silence,
for the Lord has laid it on him.”
You liberate me from my own noise and my own chaos
From the chains of a lesser law, You set me free.
In the silence of the heart, You speak
And it is there that I will know You
And You will know me
In the silence of the heart
You speak, You speak.
You satisfy me till I am quiet and confident
In the work of the Spirit, I cannot see.
In the silence of the heart (and my car) You speak.