My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
–John 10:27 NIV
One definition for the word vacation is freedom or release from duty. That sounds about right, I think. It is good to take a break from everyday routines and seek refuge in a book, holding a fishing rod, soaking in the sun or swinging on a porch swing, Lucky is the family that rents a vacation cottage this week that comes with a porch swing. I think that is the greatest thing of all. Of course, a breezy porch in the shade makes it all the better. When I visited my grandmother as a small child, we would swing on her porch and she would sit with her apron on, barefooted. Surrounded by the scent of gardenias, we would talk of far away places. We dreamed aloud together on that old porch swing. My sister gave me some gardenia soap this week. She too used to sit on that porch. It brought back memories for both of us.
My grandmother taught me a life lesson those years by her side. Everyone needs someone to listen to them. Not judging them. Not trying to change their mind. Not trying to influence them, but just simply listening. She listened to me and then I listened to her. We didn’t watch the clock unless her yellow cake was in the oven. Instead, we let our minds and heart know no limits. I wanted to be a concert pianist when I grew up and she wanted to fly on an airplane anywhere. She dreamed of expensive perfume but would settle for the dime store brand until she could do better. I first got motion sickness on that swing with my grandmother. She could swing us back and forth and side to side with just one foot. We went in circles! I could hardly keep up. She had real spirit on her swing. I told my husband this week that the only thing my front porch was missing was a porch swing. I will enjoy shopping for it and will get one big enough for me and my grandchildren, so that I can dream aloud with the next generation.
God is a great listener. We can give anything to Him and it is safe…our heart…our secrets…our dreams. But we should be listening too. Listening for His Voice, His Guidance. It comes to us in many ways. Through His Word, the voice of a friend, a sermon, lyrics to Christian songs, articles. The Holy Spirit will drop ideas and thoughts into our minds when we are awake and asleep. There is an art to listening. We just have to seek Him and we will find Him.