Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
We have a little Rat Terrier by the name of “Tink,” (short for Tinker Toes). She has become old, and her eyesight has become very poor. On our early morning walks, I like to take her around our neighborhood pond where there is a lot of open grassy area, one side of which there is a hill that leads up from the pond. With no one else around and no other dogs around, I let her off her leash to run freely (and do her business). In her joy of running free, at times she’ll lose track of me. She’ll look up and look around, but being out of range of her poor eyesight, she won’t see me. So, she turns and heads back in the direction of home. I’ll call her name loudly and she’ll hear me, but not being able to see, will sometimes keep going in the direction she has chosen. As I continue to call her repeatedly (and at times run after her), I see her turning her head trying to discern where my voice is. Eventually she’ll figure it out and come running to me, very happy to have ‘found’ me.
Sounds are all around us. Some indicate an emergency, such as the siren of a rapidly approaching ambulance or firetruck. Some are for reminders, such as appliance buzzers, seatbelt dingers, and oven timers. We wake up to the sound of an alarm clock. Cell phones have all kinds of beeps, rings, and dings. The T.V., the radio in the car, the ear buds in our ears as we listen to music…lots of sounds.
Sometimes, I get tired of all the noise. I don’t realize how much tension by body is feeling until I turn it all off. I can physically feel my body relax and grow calm. Scripture tells us that we need to Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). I think this is especially necessary as our world around us gets noisier and noisier and more and more distracting in our relationship to our Father.
Isaiah 30:21 (above) tells us that God speaks to us and gives us direction as we make decisions. Can we hear Him? If you’re anything like me, you have probably wished that you could hear Him speak audibly, as in instances that we read about in the Old Testament. That’s not, however, usually how He chooses to do it. But He does speak through His written Word, which He has given to us specifically to find divine direction. But God also speaks to us through the still small voice of the Holy Spirit (which will never contradict Scripture). But we need to be quiet and not distracted by all the noise and busy-ness around us. Are we taking the time to just be quiet with the Lord and with His Word? Can we hear His voice?
In Mark 12:29-30, Jesus, quoting from Deuteronomy says, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ As in the well-known commercial, God is saying: Can you hear Me now? Sometimes it’s because of the noise of life that we get accustomed to and almost crave at times, that makes it difficult to hear His voice. Sometimes, it’s because we’re off chasing the things that are of interest to us, not unlike our dog Tink as she chases after sounds and smells until she’s too far away to see me. Even when I call out to her, it’s difficult for her to locate me because my voice has become indistinct to her. I haven’t moved, but she has as she wanders. I chase after her…I call to her louder and louder to draw her attention back to me. In the same way, God is calling out to us to draw us closer to Himself saying, ““This is the way; walk in it.”