Monday, 16 June 2008

Listen up!

United Christian Broadcasters produce daily notes to help with reading your Bible, and kindly send some to the prisons I work in to be dished out to prisoners who would like a copy.

Today's reading is from John 10:4, where Jesus says about himself, "...his sheep follow him because they know his voice".

In Scotland, sheep wouldn't necessarily know the voice of the shepherd. We are blessed (we don't always see it as a blessing!) with abundant rain so we can fence sheep in a field and pretty well leave them to it. In the middle east, where the Bible came about, the land is dry. Shepherds literally lead their sheep to pasture and water. So the sheep there, though not here, DO know the shepherd's voice.

Some of us might argue that we don't know the voice of Jesus. But could the voice we call our conscience which urges us toward good deeds be the voice of Jesus? Could the voice we hear as we lay down to try to sleep, which convicts us of our sin be the voice of Jesus? The voice we listen for and unconsciously strain to try to hear as we admire a beautiful view is the voice of Jesus. It takes practice, but gradually the sheep (i.e. followers of Jesus) can learn to recognise the voice of Jesus (i.e. their shepherd).

The UCB notes tell this interesting wee story:

"One evening a friend visiting Peter Lord's home told him he could hear no fewer than 18 different kinds of crickets in his garden. Peter was amazed; he'd lived there for years and had never heard one. The difference was, this man was a professor of entomology and he had learned to distinguish over 200 different cricket calls with his natural ear. Imagine learning to listen to crickets! Looking back, Peter wrote, "I suddenly understood that a person must want to hear, and learn to hear, and there were many sounds I was not hearing"." and goes on to say, "Think what you've been missing all these ears because you haven't wanted or learned to hear the voice of God speaking to you... Nothing, absolutely nothing in your life is more important than learning to know God's voice when He speaks to you!"


Anonymous said...

Hello Anne,

Great post! Listening to God, what a novel idea. Most people spend their time shutting God out!

Thanks for the reminder to listen!

I recieved a comment from you on my 'old Adam' site, but for some reason it was sent to my spam file and I just received it.

It was a nice story about having to be immersed for a valid baptism to occur.

Thanks very much Anne, and keep up the good work!

- Steve Martin San Clemente, CA

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Anne, I love that cricket story. I do believe God speaks to us if we can just learn to listen to the myriad ways he does it.

And I loved the story you posted on my blog about your husband. Isn't it amazing how God works.

Anonymous said...

Must be the most interesting blog I've ever read. Thanks for this A-D.
PS."...Think what you've been missing all these ears ...". A brilliantly thought out mis-spelling, or not?

AnneDroid said...

Lol, dickiebo. I don't think I'll correct it!

Thanks all.

Anonymous said...

You're so right and our lives are so noisy. Thank you for the reminder to learn to listen to the one voice worth hearing.

Mr. Nighttime said...

There is a wonderful Hindu parable about a young man, an aspirant, whose guru (teacher) had just brought home to him the realization of himself as equal in essence to the power that supports the universe, and what in theological terms we would think of as God. (In Hindu thinking, ALL things are manifestations of the divine.)

Being profoundly stirred by this notion, that he was one and equal to God, the young man walked off completely absorbed in thought by this idea, and wandered through the village where he lived. Presently, a large elephant, with the mahout (driver) on the elephant's back were coming through the streets, the driver shouting for people to get out of the way.

Now, deep in thought, he said to himself, "I am God. All things are God," and then upon seeing the elephant thought "The elephant is God too." As the elephant drew closer, the driver's shouts became more intense. "Get out of the way you idiot! You'll be trampled!" The young man however just went on in thought, saying to himself that if all things are God, should God be afraid of God? Should God get out of the way of God?

Well, the elephant came near the young aspirant, still immersed deep in thought, and picked him up with his trunk and flung him across the road.

Not greatly hurt physically, but psychologically and spiritually shocked, the young man went back to his guru, seeking an explanation. After relating the story to the guru, he asked him "I thought you told me that I was God and that all things are God?" "Yes," the guru replied, "You are God, and all things are God."

"Then the elephant was God too?"

"Yes indeed," replied the guru. "The elephant was God too. But why did you not listen to the voice of God atop the elephant telling you to get out of the way?"

rhymeswithplague said...

Anne, great post! (I found it by way of Ruth Chatlien's link.) Reading your words reminded me of two things. First, the book Smilla's Sense of Snow says there are something like 26 words for snow in the Eskimo language (and I know only one). Second, I was listening to all the different songs of a mockingbird in my back yard the other day, marveling at the variety of sounds, and mentioned them to my wife, who hadn't noticed it at all! Well, I did grow up in Texas, where mockingbirds are in abundance, and she grew up in Philadelphia, where they apparently are not!

Off topic, my dad used to tell me that my grandmother always said she was related to "the Hydes of Scotland." She died in 1938, before I was born, and Dad died in 1967. Tell me, are there still Hydes in Scotland?

I think I shall be reading your blog some more.

AnneDroid said...

Thanks Bob (ha - I went to your blog (it's good) and then to your Rose by any other name post so I know your name!) There are certainly still both Hydes and Hides in Scotland. I don't know any but I checked the online Directory Enquiries to see! I did go to school with a girl called Susan Hide who was really brainy but I ONCE beat her in maths. It may have been in 1978 but I remember it!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Hi Anne, this is my first visit, having come over from Ruth's blog...thank you for sharing the cricket says so much. May we all have "ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart to understand" what God is whispering to us!

AnneDroid said...

Thanks Sara. Call again! I like the photos on your blogs btw.