Tuesday, February 17, 2009

News Radio and God

'Twas a dark evening. Chilly to the point of being cold. The car heater was taking its time transforming the inside of my car from winter to summer. I punched the button to turn the stereo on. KMOX from St. Lois came loud and clear through the speakers. Nothing there caught my attention. I punched the next three buttons with similar results. I punched the fourth button. There was a little static in the background but it was overshadowed by the voices in the foreground. I was tuned to "News Radio SSSSSSeventy Eight" in Chicago.


That's about 275 miles as the crow flies. I was getting the traffic report on the Kennedy Expressway. It wasn't pretty. And yet it was fascinating. Call me weird but I've always gotten a bit of a kick out of listening to live radio from far away stations. Just knowing that those voices are traveling through towns, over highways and rail road tracks, across lakes ... it's cool. Way out there is a guy or a girl sitting in a nicely appointed, warm studio, talking into a wired microphone. Is it snowing there? Is it colder than it is here? Does he have a pizza sitting on the console in front of him? It's just ... interesting.

I punched the next button. There was more static this time but the voices were clear and audible. That would be WTAM News Radio broadcasting from downtown Cleveland, Ohio. It was my hometown "talk radio station" for about a year and a quarter. I didn't really like it but it was local and it told me when the traffic was screwy. So it earned a programmed spot on button #6. Tonight I listened to my favorite Cleveland weather person, Betsy Kling, tell me to watch out if I "live on the Lake because old man Erie is throwing some snow our way." I appreciated the tip. I might be 600 miles away but that doesn't mean I don't have to worry about lake effect snow.

Oh, wait. Yes it does. It means exactly that. But I digress.

One cold winters night in late 2007 I was driving home from some non-memorable restaurant and I turned on the radio. I hit "seek" in order to find something worth listening to in my new hometown. I quickly came across some guy speaking french. At first I was amazed at the power of those Paris radio stations. Then I realized that Canada was only 31 miles off shore. It turned out the station was in Montreal or Toronto or some place that I think probably houses men with pointy mustaches wearing berets and women who drink great wine and ride bicycles to the store to pick up bread. I think I've watched too many movies.

I sat at my desk today and thought about God. I opened my bible and read the entire book of Zephaniah. Don't be impressed. It's only 3 chapters long. But as I read it God kept pointing things out to me. Things about His fathomless love. Things about His certain judgement. Things about the depths of His care for His children. Things about what happens to people who reject Him. As I listened I knew that God was speaking to me. He was encouraging me to walk straight toward Him. Do not waver. Do not stray off the path He had laid out for me. Sometimes when God speaks it is as though there is static all around me. He can be hard to hear. Sometimes His voice rings through very clearly. Sometimes it feels as though He is a million miles away. Sometimes it feels as though I am sitting on His lap. But always ... always ... when I hear His voice, I learn. Sometimes it is about difficult traffic that is all around me. Sometimes it is about the cold and frozen conditions that plague my attempt to stay near the warmth of His fire. Sometimes I have to "turn the dial" in order to find Him. He might speak through Zephaniah. He might speak through another book in the bible. Sometimes He speaks through a friend, a circumstance, a dream, the voice of my wife, or the still and quiet voice of His Spirit. But when He speaks it is obvious that it is Him.

Radio's and God. I never realized that they had so much in common. Both are always available. Both always want your attention. Both always require that you tune your ears and/or heart. But only one, the voice of God, will speak words of eternal love and eternal life.

Is it dark tonight? Are you cold? Is your personal space full of "static?" Do not be deceived. The voices are there waiting to be heard. Be careful what you tune your soul in to. You might simply hear french women on bicycles seeking bread. Or you might hear the voice of God seeking to save that which is lost ....


Anonymous said...

really long post...made it about half way...perhaps I can get farther next time.
Hopefully you preach half as long.

Ron said...

New rule: you can only complain about the length of my writing if you have to pay to read it. :)

Crystal said...

I have been reading your blog for quite some time now. I have several blogs that I stalk lol. I love yours because at times it is amusing, at times it is educational, but it is always a good read. I wanted to thank you for this post in particular. God used you to speak to me. I have been struggling with my relationship with him lately, and it's been hard. The things you said about how sometimes it feels like He's a million miles away, and other times it feels like you're in his lap...that really hit home, cause that's how I feel. I feel like it always goes between those 2 extremes with me. My point is, I didn't know that it was normal to feel that way, that I'm not the only person who feels so far away from Him sometimes. Most of all, thank you for reminding me that no matter how I "feel", He is always there, always waiting for us to turn to him. It is amazing the ways that God reminds us of his precense and his love, and this time he used you. Anyway, I've rambled enough, just wanted to say thank you. :)

k said...

Thank you, Ron. No, it's not that long. Anon doesn't know what s/he's talking about.

Instead, it was just what I needed to read right now.


Ron said...

Crystal and K ... I am honored. Thank you more than you can know. And I think you understand what I mean.


Thumper said...

My momma told me if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. So anonymous if you don't like it don't read it.