I usually spend most of my Lent trying to decide what my Lenten discipline is going to be. Often I will arrive at Easter still undecided. This comes as no surprise to most people who know me – I only recently decided what my New Year’s resolution would be for 2012.

I always aim to try and take something on rather than just giving something up. In the course of trying to decide for this year, I came across a wonderful Lenten resource put out by Nadia Bolz-Weber. She lists something to do for each of the 40 days of Lent. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nadiabolzweber/2012/02/house-for-all-sinners-and-saints-40-ideas-for-keeping-a-holy-lent/

One of the days, she suggests not listening to the car radio that day. I thought this was an interesting suggestion. Then, the next day at Virginia Seminary, I heard someone preach about how they had avoided listening to the car radio for all of Ash Wednesday so as to be alone with her thoughts. So, that is my decision – no car radio. It takes me about 25 minutes to drive to work. Same amount of time for returning home. Rather than listen to the news or recordings, I’m just driving in silence. I’m even forcing myself to avoid talking on the phone during this time.

As a child, I remember always finding it strange that when I would ride with my father, he rarely listened to the radio. Just silence. In only a few days of this practice, however, I’ve come to see the benefit of it. There’s constantly music or noise playing around me wherever I go – be it a restaurant, a store, at home, or at work. So, I’m kind of focusing on silence. On my drive, I’m trying to watch the world more carefully (no doubt, something for which my fellow drivers should be thankful) and also to pay closer attention to my own thoughts.

Almost habitually, I want to reach up and turn on the stereo, but I keep stopping myself from doing it. I’m not going to hear anything that 25 minutes that will not be available to hear or read about later. 

This morning, I was behind a car at a stoplight when the light switched from red to green. The car in front of me didn’t move for several seconds. I was about to honk and prod the driver to go, but I opted not to. There was nowhere I was in a rush to be that so necessitated me honking my horn. Besides, I knew that one of the drivers behind me would take care of it eventually (they did). So, that’s my Lenten discipline – do my part to make less noise in the world.