Sitting behind the steering wheel in my minivan is one of the most sacred spaces for me right now.
Each morning, I climb in the car, juggling my purse, bag full of work that I brought home the day before justincaseifeltlikeworkingonit, lunch box, and with my cup of iced tea. As I settle in behind the wheel, I take a couple deep breaths. I plug my iphone into my radio, and I choose a podcast. As I begin my journey, I think about my day, my kids, my husband. I might pray a little, but mostly I just take in the sweet silence.
After a couple minutes into my drive, I press play and spend the next 15-20 minutes listening to someone talk about something that’s really important to them. Nearly every day I end up in the parking lot at my work, slightly uncertain of how I got there so fast, and always wishing I could just keep on listening a little longer.
I truly love this time in the car. I hear people talk about their books, their rhythms, they spiritual formation. I cry when I hear of the deep suffering and injustices these strangers have walked through. I laugh as people make fun of themselves; I feel like I’m listening to old friends. I feel energized by the depth of the conversation, and my soul is deeply encouraged by all the amazing people there are in the world- those who are living whole-hearted, genuine lives. I almost always wish I could invite the podcasters over for dinner because I really think that we’d be great friends.
This kind of space is vital in my life. It’s a rhythm I can count on because I have to get to work and I have to get home. And because my heart connects with God through my mind, listening to thoughtful theologians, speakers, writers, etc. helps me to know and love God more.
I’m always open to trying out new podcasts, but only after I’m all caught up on my favorites:
- Seminary Dropout– Shane Blackshear interviews a variety of thinkers, pastors, writers, and theologians to talk about their writing or organization. My book list grows each time I listen.
- The Liturgist Podcast– This podcast helped me through a dark time in my spiritual journey, and I will be forever grateful. While I don’t always see eye to eye with the hosts (Science Mike and Mike Gungor), I respect them deeply and am so thankful for their perspectives. They are smart, thoughtful, and are highly relatable. They help me to think, see alternative perspectives, and also help me to feel not-so-alone in some of my thoughts and questions.
- The Road Back To You– I am a fan of the Enneagram, and that’s what this WHOLE podcast is about. The hosts bring people on each week to interview them about how their number works out in their lives. It’s funny and very informative.
- Sacred Ordinary Days podcast– Jenn Giles Kemper and Lacy Clark walk us through the liturgical year, sharing all kinds of helpful tips and experiences. This is legit spiritual formation conversation!
- The Bible Project– this is a new one for me. I first heard about Tim Mackie because he was on staff at my church right before we moved to Madison. Tim’s the real deal, and sitting through one of these podcasts is like sitting through an overview class at seminary. Love it!