A Gentle Voice

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you:
“This is the way, walk in it,” when you would turn to the right or to the left.”
Isaiah 30:21

I headed outside today in the rain to do evening chores. We have a very sound routine, Brian and I. He headed off to the barn to make ready for the goats and I headed to the chicken coop. I turned on the lights on the chicken side of the coop, tidied up, checked water and filled the food trough. Since it seemed to me they were all inside already, I did a once over and then counted them – 33 – one was missing. And then there she was being ushered in by Brian. Okay, 34 chickens. All is well. I said my good nights, turned off the light and closed the door.

I then made my way over to the duck side of the coop. I lifted the new ramp Brian made – heavy with all the shingles for a non-slip surface – and placed it to the side of the door. I stepped in and turned on the lights. Again I went through my evening routine of tidying up, checking water and filling the food trough. I closed up the gate between the two coops and stepped outside to usher in the ducks, but they were nowhere in sight. I looked in all the usual places they forage, but didn’t see them. Then, off in the distance, I caught a glimpse of one of the ducks. Smiling, and with relief, I walked to the front of the house. There I stood looking at all ten of them spread out across the front pasture.

In the rain, I watched them for a short time and then called them to me. “Come on babies – it’s time for bed.” With those simple words they turned from what they were doing and started waddling towards me. The sight of all those little legs moving was enough to raise a little chuckle from deep within my heart. I watched patiently as they made their way to me. Patient in the knowledge that they were safe and were making their way home.

As I walked slowly behind the ducks, I wondered how often God had called me to turn right or left, and then patiently waited while I made my way. And, when I didn’t go the way he guided me to, how much more patience he had while I took my little detour, and then again started making my way on the path he had in mind for me. How much easier could I have made it for myself if I had listened to his voice? He never cajoled or ridiculed my decisions. He didn’t love me any less. He knew, in due time, that I would listen to his calm, gentle voice and walk in his way.

Just like my ducks, who follow my guidance on their way home, I too want to trust and be guided by the Divine. And then, tucked safely inside the coop, to rest and prepare for another day, secure in the knowledge that I am cared for and loved.

Until next time . . .

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