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Reflections: Getting in touch with God

Radio signals used to be hard to come by in certain parts of the country.

I’ve always loved the news and talk format, but couldn’t pick it up too well when we moved to a Christian college in a rural area. The nearest talk station was about 30 miles away and the signal was faint. I often joked about living in a “media-free zone.”

A dealer in a nearby town recommended a desktop radio antenna that helped considerably, except when someone used the elevator in my building and created static.

Later I bought a radio advertised as designed for the “north slopes of Alaska” with greater reception. In those primitive days I’d often use a cassette recorder to tape programs and listen to the cassettes while driving to night classes and on weekends. This worked well until the elevator static took out 15 or 20 seconds of the recording!

I thought about these primitive methods when we drove to Denver last June and listened to Birmingham-area talk radio while passing through Oklahoma and Kansas. It’s a different world today when telephone apps and computer networks broadcast so effortlessly.

Scripture explains that our Creator wishes to commune with us each day, but we often don’t receive too well.

“Be still and know that I am God,” he exhorts (Psalm 46:10).

The problem is we’re hardly still. And the chatter of “ambient noise” drives away the quiet
needed for meditation. Everywhere we go TVs are blaring in waiting rooms. I overheard a nurse talking with maintenance in a local hospital. She explained that the family was in the cardiac waiting room and the TV wasn’t working, and they were upset. I thought how odd that a family member or friend was in heart surgery, and these visitors were more concerned about “Judge Judy” or whatever else was on TV! Television can be hypnotic and a timewaster.

The new year is a great opportunity to schedule quiet time with God.

Most of us have better success with a regular daily appointment than random appointments when we happen to think about something. A regular devotional time, including Bible reading and a prayer list, can be scheduled in the morning, at noon or at night.

I’ve heard it argued that morning is the best devotional time, but I believe the best time depends on one’s work schedule and energy level. It’s more important to choose a good time and a plan and stick to it.

Today cellphones can be programmed to remind us of this appointment and provide scripture readings at our fingertips.

We’ve probably heard enough from radio and TV. Can anything be more important this year than listening to the voice of God?

“Reflections” is a weekly faith column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church, Alabaster, Alabama. The church’s website is siluriabaptist.com.

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