“Children! Listen to me!” Sally stood in the midst of twenty kindergartners trying to raise her voice above theirs only to be ignored. Sure, they were having their first party of the school year and everyone was excited, but at this rate, her first year of teaching would soon end.
“Sh-h-h, can you hear me?” A whisper miraculously reached her hearing.
Sally looked toward the door and saw the veteran teacher who’d befriended her on more than one occasion in the last three months. She met Sally’s harried gaze with a smile. “Whisper to me.”
Whether she heard the words or read her friend’s lips, she didn’t know but she released a breath along with tension. “Are you sure you can hear me?”
Martha chuckled and whispered again. “Go ahead and tell your students what they need to know, but whisper to get their attention.”
It sounded crazy, but Sally looked at a few upturned faces around her and realized the whispering had already caught some attention. Might as well give it a try. She turned to the children. “I need you to clean up your area.”
Amazingly, those closest turned to look at her and shushed their classmates.
“We have more to do.”
Like an ocean wave, quiet swept across the room until she no longer needed to whisper and returned to a calm, quiet voice. “I need you to clean up your area so we can have refreshments. Kayla and Jason’s moms are here to hand out cupcakes and punch. Please take your seats as soon as you’ve finished cleaning.”
A scramble erupted as the children worked together and hurried to their seats, hands folded on their desks.
Martha winked as she backed out of the room. Once more, she’d taught Sally a valuable lesson.
That evening Sally relayed her experience to her husband. He shrugged. “Sure, isn’t that the way God gets our attention? If we don’t want to miss His voice, we’d better turn off all the noisemakers in our life.”
Ted was good with advice, but Sally didn’t always get the connection. Later, she washed dishes while Ted watched a show on TV. “Lord, help me learn how to be a good teacher. Show me what I need to know.”
Her prayers seemed to go no farther than past her lips. You’re no different than your students. You are making too much noise to hear God’s voice.
“Lord, I’m sorry.” Sally finished the dishes then went to the bedroom and closed the door. There, she knelt beside the bed. “Lord, help me make special time for You. May I close out the noise from my active life. Help me tune into Your voice alone. I want to hear when you whisper.”
… and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? I Kings 19:11-13