Creative Retreat: Day 1 – Writing Prompt, “Write a story using a radio as a symbol.”

When I was working on my personal theology a few weeks ago, I made myself a worksheet (cause if you know me, you know I LOVE turning something regular into a structure… it’s a gift and a curse). Considering the statement I made about my life as a spiritual being, I asked myself, “What does this statement mean that I will do?” AND  “What does this statement mean that I WON’T do?”.

To the first question, I answered: I WILL live a life with faith as my foundation. I will understand that my existence has depth beyond the action in front of me.

To the second question, I answered: I will not LIVE FRIVOLOUSLY. I will not live life without regular “reflection & reconnection”.

These make me think of an analogy that I once used to explain what it’s like to hear from God. To me, hearing from God on a regular basis is kind of like trying to tune a radio. Now, I realize that I’m dating myself like WHOA right now but I was born in 1980 so yes — our family car for the bulk of my childhood was a maroon Bonneville. The world hadn’t yet heard of “compact discs”, “mp3” or *gasp* “Spotify” so the radio as the primary way that we filled that vehicle with (very gentle, VERY Christian) tunes. (Played mostly on the way to church but I digress…)

On the rare occasion that we’d go somewhere other than church, like driving from Ohio to Arkansas to visit family every summer (this, the main reason why I didn’t understand the word “vacation” until well into my adulthood), we’d drive in and out of different radio frequency areas. We’d leave Ohio listening to the regular stations that came in clear at home and around town and then as we drove further south, those would get crackly and then turn completely to static only. We’d pick up the Columbus stations next, then Cincinnati and so forth. 

That static-to-crackly-to-clear-to-crackly-to-static cycle is how it feels trying to tune into God’s voice sometimes. It’s always there and ALWAYS clear but where YOU are determines how well you can hear it.

When I first developed this theory, I believed, based on my programming that there were a certain set of checkboxes that you’d have to regularly be checking in order to get a good strong signal of God’s voice. Now, I’m thinking about it differently. Taking the time to tune in is ITSELF actually enough. You don’t have to check the “pray everyday” or “read a chapter of the bible” boxes. Taking the time to get slow and quiet and just LISTEN will tune the voice in. Why? Well, cause it’s INSIDE you. You can drown it out with other voices and sounds but you actually CAN’T drive away from it.

The big question then is, will you listen to what it has to say?