As a Southern California native, I spend a great chunk of my life in my car. With life and ministry being all over the place, driving is as common as breathing.
But how much time do we spend in the car? I know what it is like to have a long daily commute, and it can drain you physically and spiritually. So we complain about all the time that we waste in traffic, and what we could do accomplish if only we could get back those hours that we lost.
No matter who you are or what you do, you spend a good amount of time in your car. And there is a good chance that you are multi-tasking and doing more than just staring blankly at the road. This blog will give alternatives to your normal daily routine that may help you deepen your love for Christ and sharpen yourself as a Christian.
CAUTION: Always drive safely in attempting these things. You may be tempted to have “Jesus take the wheel,” but He won’t. Please don’t Pokemon Go and drive too (use these principles instead please!).
Here are ways you can sharpen yourself during your drive:
1. Sharpened by Prayer (Eyes open, obviously)
You’d be surprised at how you can redeem the time by turning off the radio. Some people are afraid of the silence, but they don’t have to be. The commute is a great time for silence, meditation, thinking about others, thinking about the church, thinking about the attributes and works of God. If you’re fasting or praying about a situation, use the commute for reflection and prayer instead of keeping your mind blank or blasting unnecessary noises to distract you from life! Cling to prayer when the flesh sparks road-rage in your heart.
2. Sharpened by Scripture
There are plenty of audio Bibles that you can download through apps. Now, this of course does not replace the discipline of actually reading the Scriptures, but it can function as a wonderful supplement. You can blast through narratives, Old Testament poetry, and other genres just by playing it during your drive.
And here is another thought. If you are memorizing Scripture, you can optimize your commute by reciting and rehearsing your passage in traffic. Repetition is key to memorization, and you have time to repeat it in your car! If you have it written down or on your phone, make sure you’re stopped first before you look down at your cheat sheet.
3. Sharpened by Music
Sadly, a majority of the music in pop Christian culture is milk and not meat. So though it may not be heresy, but it does lack a type of depth that can sometimes slow growth. Aim for music with deeper, biblical, and theological lyrics that spur you on to ponder the deep truths of God. Check out our Music Mondays for some good recommendations. Sing out loud!
4. Sharpened by News/Politics
As I’ve stated before, this practice needs discernment. Not everything that comes from news or political stations is helpful, but every Christian should be familiar with what is going on. If you don’t do this already, maybe try to frequent certain stations just to be conversant with current events. We need to be informed about society and not ignorant, so that we can be more strategic on how to approach evangelism and the delivery of the Gospel. Remember, just because it’s Republican and Conservative doesn’t mean it is always biblical or Christian. Use discernment!
5. Sharpened by Other Audio
We as believers can sharpen ourselves theologically through many other means. Countless ministries and churches have put themselves out there on the web, and we can download almost anything onto our phones. Download entire sermon series, podcasts, and audio books and turn them on when you get into the car. You’d be surprised at how much material you can go through in a short amount of time. Check out our previous post on Christian apps.
6. Sharpened by Planning
If you’re like me, you feel like life is so fast-paced (especially in Los Angeles, CA) that I don’t have the time to sit down and just think about life. Well, we’re sitting down quite a bit on the freeways here in SoCal, so why not use this time to just ponder life. From family planning, to relationship planning, to ministry planning, we can meditate on much during the drive. (It may be good to keep a notepad in case you need to jot something down while you’re stopped, of course).
7. Sharpened by the Carpool
The commute can turn into a ministry. Go out of your way to ride with or offer rides to others. Strategically plan to be with people either from church or outside church. If there are others in the car, talk to them! Edify each other with good quality conversation and not just pop culture nonsense. Talk about the Bible, about your struggles, pray for one another. Evangelize co-workers in the work carpool. They can’t run out, so you have a captive audience and a Gospel opportunity. If there are people in the car with you, it is a great ministry opportunity for a conversation that could lead to someone’s sanctification or even salvation.