At a few minutes after midnight on Easter morn, our son Josh and friend Kathleen devoured a small mountain of chocolate. They had both been faithful to their Lenten pledges to refrain from sweets, but why wait any longer than necessary to celebrate Christ's liberating us from the bondage of sin? I am still keeping my Lenten pledge at least for now. I had decided on Ash Wednesday to keep the radio and sound system turned off in my car when I drove. No NPR, no CAVS games, no Jim Rome, no "Safe for the Whole Family" stations, no independent music, no CD's, no MP3's, no books on tape or CD. At first it seemed unnatural because my hand was trained to push on the radio knob a second after I started the car. I had decided that everytime I reached for the radio I would recite the Shema (Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God...), but after a week or so I wasn't reaching anymore. Here's the major learning from my quiet car experiences: I didn't miss a thing. I didn't hear the ususal suspects calling Howie Chizek on WNIR nor did I catch "All Things Considered" or even spend any time in The Jungle. And those things and my life went on just fine. We didn't miss each other one bit. I don't think I am close to removing the sound system from my car, but I am certainly wondering why I should turn it back on.
I recall that when I was in seminary travelling back and forth from Northeast Ohio to Boston that my radio (AM plus that FM converter) was my #1 piece of safety equipment. When ominous banging noises came from my engine, I just turned up the radio and keep the pedal to the metal. Who needed to hear those noises anyway? Now it is the noises from my radio that bother me more than the sounds from my engine. Who needs those noises anyway? So for now anyway I prefer my own stream of conciousness - as disturbing as it is sometimes - to those sounds from the car speakers. Happy Easter season.