Nearly two years ago, Mrs theWeir surprised me with the gift of an iPod. A very extravagent gift for my 29th Birthday.
A bit of context, if you'll permit me.
Since the demise of the cassette Walkman as a practical way to listen to music on the go, and a brief flirtation with Mini Disc (via a gift from work), I'd been off the mobile music for a fair few years. Other than having a car, but that was a bit big to carry around with me.
Back to the iPod. I'd been adding our CD collection to iTunes pretty steadily since we'd gotten the Powerbook two years earlier. But picked up the pace a bit when the iPod arrived.
Then, after a couple of months (okay, six) when listening to a radio programme, I heard them advertising some newfangled "podcast" thing. Wait. That sounded familiar. Oh yeah, I've seen that mentioned on iTunes.
So, I had a quick look for some podcasts on the iTunes store. And I was hooked.
I have about 20 podcasts I try to listen to regularly - from faith (the stories on something beautiful) to fun (the stories on the Moth).
What makes this medium so effective for me is the authenticity. That you get to hear the real people talking about what's important to them, about what they know. Sharing their views.
There's been one risk of all this pod-tastic content. Like being bombarded with flour bombs, there comes a time when you can't move. Fuelling the thirst for more & more content sucks time - and brain power - and leaving less time for being still. For personal reflection. In my case - for being quiet and waiting on God.
Despite this challenge, I can honestly say that I have learned so much from all the podcast content I've listened too that I have grown. I have learned. I have come closer to God through people's stories.
I'm still refining my top five recommended podcasts, will post them later this week.
In the meantime, it's the time of year when lists come out on the TV, so what are are your favourite podcasts?