There is, and always has been, within all of us, a terrible resistance to the inner Voice that calls to us. That inner Voice is a deep and penetrating irritation in our lives, disturbing our status quo, and it causes us great aggravation. That Voice cries out to us in our conscious and unconscious moments, in our bright days and our dark days, in our dreams and in our hearts. It never ceases to call to us. We resist hearing that inner Voice because it seems to always want to intrude, overturn, direct and/or upset our way of doing, thinking, and living. Thus, we silence it by our busyness, we squelch it by our stubborn selfishness, and over time, we crowd it out with all the other noises and “selves” within us and around us. We create all the “earthquake, wind and fire” we can muster to stifle the “still, small voice.” We resist the Voice of Love at the heart of all things!
Have I always paid attention to this inner Voice and been faithful to it? To my great regret and deepest sorrow I have not listened. I’ve ignored the promptings so many times! I’ve resisted that Voice every day of my life! We all do! I’ve known the gnawing of conscience for ignoring it. I’ve failed miserably to keep my commitment to listen to it. I’ve misheard the Voice on many occasions. I have blundered and missed the path given me, and wasted precious time in groping my way back to hear what I didn’t hear clearly the first time. I understand this inner Voice to be that of Jesus, others may see it as the voice of the “inner man” (woman) but whatever the case, it sounds within us all and we resist it!
What is religion? It is hearing that inner Voice and answering with a loyalty that cannot be broken; it is the stubborn courage that lives through disappointment, betrayal, and delay; it is an obstinate dream that whether it succeeds or seems to fail, holds on! Those who listen to the Voice and respond to it become instruments of hope, peace, love, and forgiveness. They are given the strength and encouragement, as Shelly says so well,
“To suffer woes that hope thinks infinite,
|Capitol Reef National Park|
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night!
To love and bear: to hope till hope creates
From its own wreck the things it contemplates,
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent.”
No wonder we have such a terrible resistance to that inner Voice. Why, if we were to hear and respond, that Voice would turn our private little worlds—and the whole world—upside down!