I have always tended to be an in-the-moment person and age has not changed this, but with age comes increasing trips down Memory Lane 😊. Although too many of these excursions can be a robber of creative energy in the present, I DO relish those unexpected moments when a teasing aroma, or a fragment of a childhood melody suddenly brings something infinitely precious to mind. Since I wrote last week about the Great Shepherd always going after the one, shepherds have crept in everywhere!
I grew up with the sound of my father’s guitar and my mother’s piano accordion, and their duets are part of the soundtrack of my life. It doesn’t take much for me to hear their voices, still in harmony in my heart:
Like a shepherd, tender, true,
Jesus leads, Jesus leads,
Daily finds us pastures new,
Jesus leads, Jesus leads;
If thick mists are o’er the way,
Or the flock ’mid danger feeds,
He will watch them lest they stray,
Jesus leads, Jesus leads.
It saddens me to remember the years when I allowed myself to be seduced away from the Shepherd’s voice, finding beauty in the siren song of rebellious sin. Yet, when I was most eager to stray, He called to me again and again during the Sunday night altar calls that always followed my earthly shepherd’s preaching. Yes, I said “again and again”. Deliberate sin sears the heart, and it took a while to return to the Lord I had accepted as a weeping 7-year-old in a children’s seaside outreach in Capetown, but when I did, life took off in unexpected ways. And what a life is has been – in fact, still is!
Since then, His voice becomes sweeter with every passing day. I admit, it’s not always easy to hear His voice above the insistent clamor of life, but I have learned the joy of instant obedience when I do. I have written songs about it, I have preached sermons about it, I am living it.
“And nothing I desire compares with You…”