Monday, May 11, 2009

Commuting with God

Okay, so I've been thinking a lot about spiritual practices for a new generation--reframing traditional practices and also thinking about ways for busy people with little connection to traditional spirituality to connect with God.  Amy and I have actually been working on this for about a year, but we've discovered some gaps in our experience and so it's taking us a really long time to explore these things.

So one thing I've been thinking about is Commuting with God (get it? I'm so funny...haha, bad puns...okay, I'm done).  What are some ways that we can turn the daily grind of commuting into a spiritual experience?  I know there are the usual--things like praying for those you hear on the radio news; turning off the radio and driving in silence, just thinking/listening; sending up prayers for those drivers who cut you off; listening to music that makes your spirit sing.  I'm sure there are plenty of others too--things that don't necessarily involve a traditional understanding of "talking to God" but could feed our spirits and connect us to the Holy even in our cars, on the train, etc...

But my daily "commute" (if it can be called that) is 10 minutes each way.  I don't make longer drives often enough to make a regular practice out of it.  So I'm wondering, from those of you who DO commute--what are some things you either do or can imagine doing while you commute that would bring you closer to the Holy, perhaps even setting the tone for your day or night (depending on when/where/how/why you commute...)?


  1. You are probably familiar with Pray-as-you-go; I use that sometimes.

    But one thing I often do is turn off the radio and just "listen to my head rattle" as my spouse says.

    I have a very short commute too (less than yours) but it's amazing what quality time I can get in the silence of those few minutes.

  2. My commute is short too - and usually in a fair amount of traffice - so mostly I practice "practicing the presence" as I try in most things - probably a variation of pray as you go. I do find that getting distracted from traffic is not earthly-life sustaining, however, so don't try to get too far into my head and away from the traffic!

  3. I have a 20 minute bus ride to work every morning. With my schedule so hectic and varied it was hard to get a devotional routine going, but on the bus I have a solid chunk of time.

    So I bought the smallest Bible I could find, and read a few chapters on my way to work. I pray a little too, sometimes.

    I think it sets the tone of my morning, reminding me that there's more to life than work (hard right now, since that's mostly all I do), helps me to get into a mindset of service - to customers and wanting to be a good employee for my bosses.

    And since I invite God to be with me while I read, I've invited him into my day as well.

  4. I went from a 10-minute commute to a 2-hour commute last time I changed jobs, and both were in my car. For both, I liked pray-as-you-go podcasts, which if you start them first thing in the car you can pretty much fit into 10 minutes.

    Also... rather than listen to music, I like to sing in the car: a favorite hymn or IGs song or whatever is running through my head, especially if its a preaching week. I'd be too chicken to do that on public transport though :)

  5. I sometimes wish I had a commute to do this. I do have soem pretty good alone time in the office though. Huge benefit of a tiny congregation with a small part time staff.
    Anyhow, yes, I'll see our profs this week, one is a speaker and the other will be there.