Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Momma's Voice and the Light on the Porch

As it's starting to get dark earlier now, it reminds me of when I was little our play time outside got cut short this time of the year. The rule was no matter where we went out to play or what we were playing, we had to be home before it got dark. Of course getting dark is not something that happens in a moment, but darkness gradually creeps in. But when my momma laid down that law, we knew exactly what she meant. She meant that when the outside light on the pole came on, it was dark, and my behind better already be in the house. I remember that no matter what we were playing or how loud we were when playing it, the faint hum of that light coming on would drown everything out and send us running home.

I remember playing ball at the elementary school right down from my house. It was the only thing close to a playground in our neighborhood and both young and not so young people would gather there after hours to play basketball. Well, there was one rare time that I was out there by myself. I was enjoying having the court alone, and was really into my own imaginary game. I was probably doing my usual "3,2,1..and Magic scores the winning shot!" (of course I was playing the part of Magic). But in all that fun, I did not hear the hum of that light coming on. But what did grab my attention was the voice of my none-too-pleased mother calling my name from our back porch. It was at those times that I wished my name was anything but Eric.

But suddenly when I heard her calling my name, not only in that moment did I realize I was in trouble, but I also realized how dark it had gotten. I guess since my eyes were gradually adjusting as the light gradually dimmed, I hadn't noticed. So now I had to walk home, or run home since momma was still calling my name, in the dark. The further I went, the darker it got, and the more scared I became. By the time I was halfway home, I could barely see two feet in front of me, and the walk home that was probably a tenth of a mile seemed like ten miles. I started hearing all kinds of noises and seeing all kinds of shadows that my mind quickly fashioned into the most horrific monster it could dream up. So I knew I needed to make it home and fast. So it came to me that I should focus on the light on my back porch and my mother's voice. By following them, I was able to make it back. And even though I knew there was a scolding waiting for me, I didn't mind because I was just glad to be home.

You know, that reminds me that sometimes in life, or even just sometimes in my mind, I stray away from home. I step away from where God wants me to be. Somehow I lead myself to believe it's ok because I'm not that far from home. But I have seen how this world around me can grow dark real quick. And there have been times when I finally realized that I had strayed, it had already gotten so dark that it was hard to find my way back. But the Lord is reminding me through this story that when that happens I need to do now what what I did then. I will follow the light and listen for God's voice. No matter how dark this world gets, it will never drown out the light of God's word. In Psalm 119:105, it reads "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path". I see it and so I will follow it. And no matter what noises are out there, I believe God's word that says "My sheep hear my voice" John 10:27. I will focus on God's voice, and when I hear it I will follow it.

If you have found yourself far from God, I want you to know that you are not as far as you think. Even though you can be far from Him, He is always near to you. Read His word! Listen for His voice! And go back home! It's just like following momma's voice and the light on the back porch.

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