Hear and Obey the Right Voice

by Nan Corbitt Allen

But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” Mark 4: 35-42 NKJV

Have you ever been to a wrestling match? I don’t mean “rasslin’” like they do on Saturday night in some down-home venues. I’m talking about a legitimate competitive sport recognized by the high school and collegiate associations—and the Olympics. I’m told that there are several styles: Greco-Roman and Free Style among them. I don’t really know the difference between the styles but I do know this: it is the MOST intense and nerve-wracking sport I’ve ever witnessed!

Both of our sons have been on high school wrestling teams at some point. Wanting to show our love and support, we attended most of their matches. And it was agonizing.

As a spectator/supporter, a parent must sit semi-quietly and watch her son’s body get twisted into positions she never thought possible. And the noise! Fans and competitors yelling at the tops of their lungs to “shoot the half” or whatever. And there were cheerleaders, too. Did you know that some schools have cheering squads for wrestling teams? Ours did. They not only scream and chant but also pound the gym floor in support.

Worse than school matches were tournaments where several schools participated. Three or four matches occurred simultaneously in a gymnasium. Imagine the noise, the smell, the chaos. I was totally spent after one of those.

At one tournament, however, I tried to detach from the chaos as best I could so to preserve some energy and sanity. It was hard but for brief stints I was able to focus on one thing. One of these times I chose to watch our team’s coach. I’d never really watched him before mostly because he was a gentle, unassuming man by nature and he didn’t often draw attention to himself. But what I saw him do that day made a lasting impression on me.

Coach Gentry was often down on his hands and knees almost at eye level with our boys —watching, evaluating and admonishing, but not loudly at all. Just in a normal tone. I wondered: how could those guys hear their coach’s voice above all the rest? And then it hit me.

This coach had worked with some of his team members for many years and so the guys recognized his voice. He had also led his team to many state championships and it was obvious he knew the sport. The boys trusted him.

Jesus taught a similar lesson about Himself using the analogy of sheep and shepherds:

“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (John 10: 3-5, NIV)

Recognition and trust are important when filtering out His voice from the rest. Get to know His voice by deepening your understanding of Him.

Hear and Obey the Right Voice – thoughts from Nan Corbitt Allen on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Nan Corbitt AllenAbout the author: Nan Corbitt Allen has written over 100 published dramatic musicals, sketchbooks, and collections in collaboration with Dennis Allen, her husband of 40 years. A three-time Dove Award winner, Nan’s lyrics and dramas have been performed around the world. Dennis and Nan have sold almost 3 million choral books.

Nan and Dennis live in Cleveland, GA where she teaches English and Creative Writing at Truett McConnell University. They have two grown sons and two beautiful grandchildren.

Nan’s book, Small Potatoes @ the Piggly Wiggly, is a collection of devotionals that reveal the seemingly insignificant routine experiences can have great impact on a life. She describes what she learned of God’s providence and wisdom while growing up in the Deep South in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Join the conversation: When is the last time you heard His voice?


3 thoughts on “Hear and Obey the Right Voice

  1. Nan, I’m glad my son didn’t want to be a wrestler! I would have been in agony also. But I love the analogy of the coach. Unfortunately, I think I hear Jesus, my Shepherd, yelling at me when He’s actually speaking with kindness, motivated by love. Old mind tapes think everything is my fault and everything is up to me and God can’t be pleased with me. I’m reminded He’s speaking just like your sons’ coach. Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.