Daily Devotional for Small Group Discussion: Tune In
1. When was the last time you tuned a radio through static to find a station? In what ways have your pre-set “stations” (playlists, channels, social media feed, etc.) become background “static” in your everyday life?
2. How do you practice tuning in to God? What helps? What doesn’t help?
3. What might happen if you intentionally turn off some of the noise and demands around you and in your own head?
Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness. – Isaiah 51:1 (NRSV)
“Listen,” God commands.
God already knows that this will be a struggle for us. Because there’s a long list of voices that cause a cacophony in our heads, asking so much of us before our days even begin. And somewhere, inside of us—again, whether we realize it or not—we are answering to them.
This requires energy. Brainwaves. Attention. The asks from the voices take from us without necessarily putting anything back. And when this is our steady state, how do we have the capacity to even begin to listen to what God has to say?
How can God get through?
Listening to God means changing your steady state. Tuning into God’s frequency while tuning out some others.
Have you ever turned a radio dial to tune in to a station? It takes some fine tuning. You’d start with static, but you’d keep turning the knob. More static. But keep turning, and as you do, you start to hear some sound come through. And as you get closer and closer, the sound becomes clearer. Words become discernable. And you keep turning. You keep turning and you might still get some noise, some interference, from another station—not the one you’re looking for. But keep turning. And you turn, and you turn, and, in time, you will tune in to that which was casting out to you all along.
My suggestion, today, is that if listening to God is our objective, then we need to turn the dial. And tune in. This works. It is powerful, and it works.
But you know what doesn’t work? Trying to tune into countless stations, all at once. That’s just a jumbled mess. And while we would never try to do that with the radio, for some reason we try to do that with God.
To hear God loud and clear, we really need to shut some things down. Turn off the stations—or at least, turn them down. Limit the asks.
Take a deep breath and…
Keep listening. Tune in. Turn the dial.
Help me to tune in, O God. And thank you for writing that frequency and song on my heart the very day I was born. I’m listening.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.