How much time do you spend commuting? Whether you’re in a car, bus, airplane, or whatever, you can redeem the time by getting things done while commuting.
It must be said: the research shows that multi-tasking is not really that effective. So you’re not going to drive with 100% focus and listen to your Bible on audio with 100% focus at the same time. It just can’t happen. This is side-tasking; not multi-tasking. Nevertheless, it may be worth doing two things at once, even if you can’t do both extremely well. There are things you can do while commuting to make the best use of your time.
Below are a few things that come to mind:
How to Seize Your Commute as a Christian
1. Just sit in silence. I love technology and listening to podcasts and sermons, but sometimes I get tired of all the noise and just want to ride in silence. I just want to think, daze-off (but not too much when I’m driving, of course) and be alone. I’m slightly introverted, so I find that these times of being alone can be energizing. So what’s one way to enjoy God’s grace as you drive to work or ride on a train or airplane? Commute in silence and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do anything.
2. Listen to books on Audible – I used Audible for a while and loved it. My commute changed plus it got too expensive for me, so I don’t use it anymore. And with the emergence of podcasts in the past few years, I prefer a podcast instead of an audiobook. But, if you have a decent commute time (more than 45 minutes there and back), then this could be worth it.
3. Listen to your Bible on audio. I recently listened to the entire Pentateuch on audio while driving to and from places. It’s amazing how much more I picked up (and probably missed) while listening to the Bible on audio. While I still prefer traditional Bible reading, listening to your Bible on audio is better than not consuming Bible content at all and could be a regular option for you extremely busy folk, especially those of you that work long hours.
4. Pray. Prayer is communication with God, and like other relationships, we need constant communication for deep intimacy. I often find myself praying in the car and enjoy it. These can be quick and fun prayers.
With that said, however, praying in the car probably shouldn’t be the extent of your prayer life. That is to say, if the only time you ever prayed at all was while you are driving, your prayer life is suffering more than you realize. Pray in the car, but view it as merely supplemental, not the diet. You should also pray in private and with others.
5. Catch up on phone calls. I’d rather text than talk, but I appreciate a phone call every once in a while. I have a friend who lives in a different state who calls me once or twice a year to chat. “So, why did you call me?” I always ask. He says he was thinking of me and wanted to see how I was doing. This makes me feel loved. Perhaps every once in a while you can give someone a phone call just to see how they’re doing. You never know, you may make someone’s day.
Obviously, you want to be careful here. You’ll want to avoid this if it’s illegal in your state to talk on the phone while driving.
6. Listen to sermons. I used to listen to more sermons than I do now. Again, I think this is partly due to the emergence of podcasts, but I still do listen to sermons while commuting. Hearing the preaching of God’s Word done well is always a nourishment to your soul.
7. Ride with others. Discipleship doesn’t have to only be during one-on-one coffee times. It doesn’t have to always be formal. I’ve heard others use car rides as discipleship times — that is, they invite others that they want to invest in to come along while driving to the grocery store or somewhere else to catch up and talk about the Christian life. In this way, you kill two birds (e.g., discipleship, grocery shopping) with one stone (e.g., driving). You’re driving to the store, you might as well take someone with you, if possible.
We are called to make the best use of time. Most of us are commuting quite often and can seize these opportunities to get things done.
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