I posted a Facebook update today that read:
I don't have the ability to make my voice deep and commanding right now thanks to bronchitis. I can barely make an intelligible noise at times, and what does come out squeaks like a pubescent boy. So I wasn't sure how my dogs would react. They are a sweet pack of strong headed hunting dogs. They follow strength, or the scent of a pheasant.
When I let them out today, they were their usual jubilant selves. You can almost see them crying out, "Freedom!!!" But then I had to lead them from the outside, past bird cages and yummy scents, back to their kennels. I tried to give them the most commanding squeak I could, but they weren't buying what I was trying to sell. Hunter thought it was a game, but Gabs and Bear just looked at me. Still, where I went, they followed. None of the usual need to call and cajole. My voice was not as needed. It was my daily presence and routine that they could trust. It was the relationship that we have built that they trusted more than any audible noises.
It made me think of how I listen to God.
Sometimes he seems so quiet. Or perhaps it is because the world, both within and without me, seems so loud. Sometimes I cannot hear him at all, and I wonder what has happened. But I don't get as scared as I once did. I trust his presence and his character. I trust the relationship that has developed over the years.
Tho I may be tempted to get distracted by other things when I can't hear my Master's voice, the pups reflected for me today how I hope to respond. Simply to follow because I trust him.