Andrew is letting me use his car. He doesn’t need it.
He has a better stereo than we do, with better meaning that you can play CDs and use MP3 players. I enjoyed the variety of music, podcasts and news for two months. One day we looked in the car and saw an open glovebox, a bent CD on the seat. Then we didn’t see the faceplate for the stereo.
I left the car unlocked, parked in our driveway. Sometime during the day, the faceplate disappeared. And with it my travelling companions. What remained were habits.
I discovered that I use noise. I discovered that when I drive and start talking with God, I finish a couple sentences and reach for the radio. I didn’t realize how often I do that until I watched my hand reach for the radio that no longer was there.
What I am learning is that I struggle with conversations. Especially conversations with God. I start by saying something. And then, when it’s my turn to listen, I fill the silence.
Jesus talked one morning about taking the disciples to a quiet place to get some rest. They had been on an internship. They needed time with him to reconnect. People were all around. So Jesus led them to a quiet place.
The irony was that when they got to the place, 15,000 of their closest friends showed up too. But maybe it’s not as ironic as I’ve always thought. Because all those people showed up, the disciples couldn’t talk to Jesus. They had to listen. They had to spend the whole day listening. Sitting. Just part of the crowd. After a season of celebrity, the best thing for them was relative anonymity, listening to Jesus.
Sometimes silence, sometimes anonymity. Listening always requires paring of something.
My friend Chris talked about paring last weekend, asking “Are there things you could (should?) pare back?” It made me think. This week, I’ve looked at some of the trimming that Jesus talks about.