If you were to sit down and list the events of your day, from morning until night, what would that list look like? If you were to put pen to paper (or hands to laptop), and just allow yourself a few moments to consider what it is that consumes your days, you, like me, would probably find yourself readily listing item after item after item.
And what if you did the same thing, and made a second list, only this time you listed those things that occupy your thoughts? Concerns. Worries. Burdens. Stresses. Fears. Anxieties. Those things that consume your mental energy. Elevate your blood pressure. Deplete your spirit. Perhaps that list would fill up rather quickly as well.
We each have a lot of voices vying for our attention. Some that indeed need to be heard. Many that are of importance. Others that are wearily urgent. A number, however, that are counterproductive. Voices that distract. Voices that detract. Voices that all too easily shift us off course.
The Apostle John records these wonderful, affirming, assuring words of our Savior, “I tell you the truth, the one who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because the know his voice” (John 10:1-4).
Tuning in to the voice of Jesus amid all of the static, amid all of the distractions, is so very crucial for His followers. It is a discipline to be practiced. An artistry to be pursued.
Yet when His voice is the only voice we hear amidst all that is encompassed within those two lists, the result is peace and clarity and confidence. Aspects of the Christian life that perhaps more a few of us are in need of.
Glory to God!