Several years ago I was feeling a little guilty about not going to church that particular Sunday, and my mother kindly and truthfully reminded me that the church was not going to fall down if I missed a week. As years passed, I began to realize that the church would not only stand but would also continue to thrive and grow without me. I, however, would soon begin to fall down without the instructions, lessons, and fellowship that I receive weekly.
Today was no exception. In Sunday school, the teacher asked for a volunteer, and Flo was willing to be his guinea pig. He blindfolded her with a tie, which just happened to coordinate with her pretty dress, and then gave her some instructions about what she was to do. After spinning her around a few times, he asked Flo to find her way to the front of the room by listening to directions from Elder Ticone, a young missionary who was playing the role of the Holy Ghost. Class members had the task of confusing and distracting her by giving her the wrong directions. “Turn left,” Elder Ticone would say, only to be overridden by orders to go straight, turn right, or turn around completely. After a few minutes of “fits and starts,” she seemed paralyzed and had no idea on which direction to turn. All this time, Elder Ticone was giving his commands too; it’s just that he was farther away than the other class members who were all barking out orders.
I think the “object lesson” was perfect. When we feel lost or alone and ask for help, the Comforter spoken of in John 14:26 is not going to hit us over the head to get our attention. Nor are the voices and distractions from the world going to die down or go away. We must train ourselves to ignore them and listen only for the “still, small voice.”
Interestingly, Elder Gibbes spoke up and added that he was with his companion, Elder Ticone, 24/7 and would have recognized his voice immediately, regardless of all others vying for his attention. Great point! He knew his companion’s voice because of their constant company with each other. It makes perfect sense that we will recognize the voice of the Holy Ghost more readily if we are diligently engaged in prayer, meditation, and scripture study.
What about you? Do the distractions, noises, and voices of the world sometimes seem so loud and so overpowering that they drown out the voice of the Comforter? What are some of those voices? What can we do to better tune them out?