Friday, March 07, 2014

A Familiar Voice

While I was growing up, I always had a pet.  Since we lived on a farm, we tended to have several "barnyard" cats of the mixed breed variety.  I had aquarium fish and gerbils. There was seldom a time when I did not have a dog.  When I left for college, the dog I had was Buddy, a German shepherd.  (My dogs were ALL my buddies.)  Buddy died shortly before I returned home after my freshman year.

I don't have any actual photos of Freddy,
but this little guy looks a lot like him!
A couple of weeks later, my dad brought home a scrawny, malnourished puppy.  He had found it near an irrigation system.  I immediately adopted the little guy, and named him Freddy.  He flourished, and was romping around our yard with me within days.  About three weeks before I left for college, Dad got a phone call.  The man on the line said, "I hear you found one of my puppies?"  Dad affirmed that we had been in possession of the dog since May.  The gist of the conversation was this:  the dog must be returned, but not until I left for college.

During my Thanksgiving break, my mom asked if I would like to visit Freddy?  We drove to the area of Freddy's owner.  When I stepped out of the car, several young dogs, all the same size/age of Freddy came running down the road.  But when I called out, "Freddy!" only one dog came to me. He had instantly recognized me. Freddy and I had a joyous little reunion right there in the middle of the road!

As I was reminiscing on this time, I realized it was a great picture of Lent.  Throughout our lives, we get separated from our Master.  We tend to stray off into the little side roads of life.  But when our Master calls our name, we recognize His voice.  Our decision is whether to run toward that Voice or turn our back and run away.

Lent allows us the opportunities we need to focus on hearing God's voice more distinctly.  Fasting, prayer, and alms giving are the main ways we do this.  Fasting, because it is a choice to separate ourselves from something we want, in order to spend more time with God.  Prayer, because it is the actual participating in listening to God and allowing His Voice to become even clearer, without the distractions.  But alms giving?What is THAT?!  It is an old fashioned term which means giving to the poor.  What does this have to do with drawing closer to God?  The more we focus on God's voice, the more we should want to help those in need.  Letting go of our money is a vivid picture of letting God be in charge of our finances.  It's an amazing reminder of allowing God to be in charge of each and every area of our lives.

When He calls your name, will you recognize His voice?

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