“04.30am Saturday: Paul’s Log, England: House is again quiet after the 03.56am interruption of sleep. The youngest grandchild. An hour early for the middle-of-the-night bottle. The other three were not disturbed. Find myself wide awake after taking the small-full-of-milk-and-sleeping-again infant and settling her in the travel cot. Don’t like travel cots much for settling wee ones. Executive Log out.”
With travel cots it’s the distance between body-to-body cuddling and the very slow drop to (almost) the floor. There is a particular technique required (and a tired back) with each slow descent.
How a sleeping infant senses the shift in “something” no matter how slow the transition.
Maybe it’s the same as the transition between night and day or day and night. Maybe we’re all hard-wired to sense changes, sense potential danger, sense safety and trust. From a stay-alive perspective that makes sense. Evolution, back in the day, saw the “never heard a thing” ones gobbled up – while the “something’s not the same” ones scarpered before becoming someone’s breakfast.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27
More and more I find words like this precious. Because, whatever your thoughts on the inerrancy or inadequacy of the bible, a lot of it is right on the money. Like this fragment.
I know the voices I trust and the ones I don’t. So does our wee grandchild. Knows the sense of transition … the sense of change that is to be questioned … the sense of separation … the sense of falling … a sense of potential danger (or discomfort). Voices are not just spoken words.
Voices are much more than just words.
In credit control I grow confidence in a paying/non-paying client through “consistency” – if all the signals are consistent … broken promises … delaying tactics … avoidance … insincerity … opportunism … bullshit … Then I know where I am. Same with the opposite … regular prompt payments … the “right reactions” to missed invoices … concern … attention … action … honesty …. I know where I am. But “inconsistency” … the neither one nor the other … the could be this or could be that … the maybe they are or maybe they aren’t … THAT is of danger. The danger of a company going out of business and my company losing a wad of cash.
I have seen a ton of people pay a ton of cash for counselling. I have seen people creating a support structure. I have walked past rows of shelves of self-help and personal development books. It seems we all need “balancing” by something at some point in our lives. So why not the bible as well?
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Over the years of my relationship with GSHJ … I have learned to trust this voice. Learned to rely on the “sense” of safety I get. Found a “consistency” in this “voice” that can never countenance putting me in danger. A voice that will – and has – only ever kept me from danger. A voice that has my well-being at heart. A voice I trust because this voice is consistent. And if I was put in a lab … had loads of electrical monitors stuck to me …
I would fully expect the results to be inconclusive “at best” – and “at worst”… ? I would fully expect the lab-rats to conclude that there is no “voice” … fully expect confident speculation that this “voice” is internal and of my own making … fully expect their (and your) conclusion that there really is no voice to hear other than that of my own making and inside my own head.
Like conscience. Like belief. Like the “stuff” we seek – explore – pay cash to see if it “works”.
Except this “voice” has cost me nothing in counselling fees … nothing in book purchases … not a penny in programme participation … Nor has this “voice” expected me to be anything other than my (changing) self … invited me to explore the outer edges of who I was scared to think I might be … reassured my journeying along my on winding small path.
This voice is free. This voice is of unconditional love.
And isn’t that what we’re all searching for?