Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FOLD (10/08/15)
By Kate Oliver Webb
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It was a great start for the teen, who continued to walk his Christian path, finding acceptance among a group of like believers in his high school. Sure, there were other voices which caught his attention, but underneath it all, deep inside, he heard that Voice he was learning to love, which kept him headed the right direction, provided him sustenance, rest, fellowship and a hope for the future.(a)
“Darren! How are you?” He recognized the voice of a friend from his high school. He had not known Abby was attending the same college. The two had dated casually during high school, attending the same Bible club and church activities. While not romantically attached, they appreciated each other’s company and common faith in Christ until graduation, when they went their separate ways.
Now they both enjoyed this reconnection, and over the next few years the relationship grew. Both had hectic schedules with school and jobs, but they crammed in as much “together” time as they could.
Darren didn’t know that he had begun to lose touch with the Voice which had been so precious and important to him early in his walk with God. Abby was popular, and began to draw her friends into her relationship with Darren. He enjoyed these new activities, and without consciously making the choice, he began to listen to friendly voices giving advice, opinion, and sending messages which seemed, to his busy mind, to be worth heeding.
Through it all, that still, small voice was there; his Shepherd’s voice reminding of His presence, calling him to make corrections to his path. Amidst the clamor and the glamour, Darren decided on an exciting position in a financial firm which had recruited both himself and Abby. It all seemed so…RIGHT!
Marriage seemed inevitable, as well. Meant to be. Other voices agreed, although some fellow Christians from his old flock spoke of missing the old Darren. He ignored those.
He remembered, once in a while, to speak to his Shepherd in the middle of a busy day; during a raucous evening (which was nearly always business related) he’d think to ask for protection, or—in some cases—forgiveness.
He realized after a time that he hadn’t heard a response from the Voice he knew. It both confused and disappointed him. Then again, outside voices distracted, other actions needed his attention: he needed to stay connected with his wife; he needed to succeed in his career; and now, a new little life on the way.
There was never enough time. And surely, after he had given his life to the Lord, God was actually leading the way through this noisy chaos, wasn’t He? All Darren needed to do was heed the Voice. But he hadn’t heard the Voice in an uncomfortably long time.
Surely his Shepherd was still with him? Wait…had he even remained connected to the flock which had enfolded him at his conversion?
Darren and Abby had not even taken the time to enjoy the excitement of learning she was pregnant, did not even celebrate the occasion.
“Darren!” he heard his boss remotely, engrossed as he was in his phone conversation with a client. It surprised him that his boss was interrupting…the business was always ahead of anything else. He signaled that he’d be right with him, and quickly closed his call.
“Darren, Abby’s in the hospital—you need to leave right now!”
"What?” Darren was confused. “The baby’s not due yet!”
“She’s been in an accident!” It was an urgent and emotional voice. He grabbed Darren’s arm and led him out the door.
“Hurry; I’ll drive.”
There was no conversation in the car, only a tense, panic-filled silence.
And then, “Darren…”
He turned to his boss, but it wasn’t that voice he heard.
“Darren, I’m with you.”
He answered that still, small Voice: “Lord, is that you?”
With tears rolling down his cheeks, he began an emotionally charged reconnection with his Shepherd.
“Oh, God, I need you….”
And he realized he was once again in the comfort of The Fold.
(a) John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (NKJV)
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