I have a question. Are you old enough to remember transistor radios? Did you ever own one? Do you remember when and where you got it? Okay, I guess that was more than one question but the answer for me (to all three questions) is yes.
I got my first transistor radio when I was in eighth grade. There was a neighbor who was in the National Guard and he had to leave for the summer. He asked if I would keep the yard mowed for him and I did. When he came back, he gave me a transistor radio! It was about four inches tall, three inches wide and about an inch thick. I would listen to it for hours.
One of my favorite things to do with it was to listen to it at night. Apparently the FCC (that’s Federal Communication Commission, not First Christian Church) allowed the radio stations to boost their signal after 10pm. Dad and I would take the radio and slowly roll the tuning dial, listening for the faint voices of faraway people. Sometimes you could get signals from as far away as Texas, California or even Mexico! You had to listen very carefully to make out what they were saying and if we got a signal from Mexico all we could do was listen to the music since we didn’t speak the language.
That radio is long gone, but the memories aren’t. What I remember most was how much fun it was to find those stations far away. As I get older, the idea of listening closely takes on new meaning. It’s a God thing. People tell me all the time that they wish they could hear God better. While I agree that hearing God better is a good thing, personally, I think that is on us. I don’t want God yelling at me just so I don’t have to listen closely. Actually, I don’t want God to yell at me for any reason. I am quite content to listen closely for a “still, small voice.” I know there is a lot of static in our lives, but God speaks in the silent places (Go read 1 Kings 19:11-14).
When we are intentional about seeking out times and places where we can dampen down the static of life, then most of what separates us from God goes away and for brief moments we have that divine experience (Read Psalm 46). Think about it as we prepare to enter Advent.