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 Tuned to His Voice 

Find the lesson in this story. An old man and his grandson headed on a trip with their donkey. They casually paced themselves over the hills with grandpa leading the animal and the lad following behind. As they entered the first village they heard several say, “How silly to walk. You ought to ride the donkey.” Well, the old man didn’t want to look like a fool so he jumped up on the beast and the boy continued along side.  People in the next village saw them and were equally vocal, but with different advice. “Look at that cruel old man making the poor child walk!” Because the words stung, the travelers exchanged places. It wasn’t too long before others down the road offered their two cents worth. “What a lazy boy! He makes his grandpa walk in this heat.” By now there seemed to be only one solution. They both climbed on to the donkey to finish their trip. But when they reached the next town (you guessed it) voices started to chant for animal rights. “That poor donkey, breaking its back under the load. Is there no compassion?” Once more our hero heeded the advice offered and was last seen walking over the hill with the donkey on his back.  

Do you get the lesson? If you conclude that we all should “bear one another’s burrows” go to the back of the class! The moral is clear. There are many people after your ears. Hundreds of messages, ideas, values, products and opinions call out for your attention. Listen to them all and you buy a sure ticket to a break down of mind, health or spirit. The best way to make life’s journey is to listen to a single voice. Which one? The Bible speaks of Jesus as “The Word” – God’s message – His voice to this world. Jesus is described as our Shepherd – who guides us to the right paths. “The sheep follow Him because they know His voice.” We are wise to heed His voice, to measure all other words against His, to obey the One who speaks Words of life. That would erase much of the confusion in our life. That would free us from the shackles of expectation of others. That would give us an accurate compass to chart the course of our life. We could walk with peace of heart and mind. When we do, the only disappointed ones would be the village voices and the donkey.