Almost each morning as I get out of bed and pad in my bare feet, down the stairs to my kitchen to get a cup of tea, I hear my father's voice, "Put on your slippers or you will catch a cold!" It was a sort of mantra of his. I am a barefoot sort of person, so I overcome the voice and heed my own wishes.
There are other voices that come into my head that compete for attention. Another from my childhood was, "Blondes have to try harder in life to look pretty because they have no natural coloring and look faded out." Not exactly the voice that should have been feeding my decisions or my self-image.
There are voices in culture that cry out. "You deserve a break." "More clothes, beautiful homes, nice cars, house beautiful, will make you happy." "Experiences for your children are necessary for them to think you are good parents--a disney trip, more toys for Christmas, meals at fast food restaurants." "If you really want your child to get ahead, they have to have the right education--there is one best way--private school, homeschool, classical education, cram, push, expect, drive, pressure." "Finding the right sexual partner will make you happy."
The voices go on and on. Satan is called the Father of lies. His desire is to distract us--to pull us away from God, to disbelieve in His goodness, to deny Him, to be busy so that we don't even have time to hear the truth.
I often us a celtic prayer book in the sleepy mornings to guide me into my day with some scripture. The other day, I read a little poem about John.
"The is John the beloved, who followed Jesus as the way,
embraced the truth and shared his life,
And at the supper of the Lord, leaned closer to Him to hear His words,
For those who lean on Jesus' breast hear the heart of God."
These words stuck in my mind--I want the voice I hear to be that of Jesus--I want to hear the heart of God.
So this week, I went back to John to see what words were flying around in John's head, what voice was informing his heart.
"I am the bread of life." 6:48
"If any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink."
"I have loved you with an everlasting love,"
"I am the light of the world.I have come as a light into the world, that everyone who believes me may not remain in darkness."
"If the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."
"I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
"Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me."
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives to you. Let not your heart be troubled or let it be fearful." Jn. 14:27
"In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world." 16:33
"My kingdom is not of this world."18:36
"Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believe."20:29
So, in leaning closer to hear his voice, I have heard the voice of love, peace, comfort and courage. Whose voice are you listening to?