Cumberland Times-News

June 26, 2008

Listen to God's still voice: 'You can do it'

David Sandvick, Columnist

It was the same day that I rappelled off the tower that I climbed up its rock wall side. I had come to the conclusion that a near-50- year-old man need not prove himself anymore, when a voice in my head said, "Do it anyway!"

Charley, a female counselor, was on belay for me as I began my ascent. At the 15-foot mark, I was telling myself that the earlier voice I heard in my head was mistaken and I should quit. At that moment I was just about ready to tell Charley I was done and coming down.

Charley, in a soft-spoken voice said, "Keep going Pastor David, you can do it." I rolled my eyes and decided to move on. In what seemed like 15 minutes later I had climbed 10 more feet. By now, my limited arm muscles were screaming that they were on fire and that I should put them out.

"Be finished with this craziness. Quit!" The voice shouted. I called down, "Charley." "I know you can do it," came the soft reply. It was at that moment my stubborn side kicked in and determined that nothing less than the top would do.

This incident did remind me, however, how loud the voices in the world shout to do wrong and give up our desire to do the right things. TV, music, movies, magazines, peer pressure all combine to fill our minds with meaningless noise. What keeps us going is the still small voice of God in the back of our minds that says, "You can do it. You can make the right decision." God is using his church to help his children be sensitive to that still small voice even in such a deafening world.

As for the rock wall, I did make it to the top and credited Charley for inspiring me to do so. The downside is that my hands were so cramped and tired, I could barely hold a fork at dinner. I was just about ready to give up feeding myself when I heard a familiar voice, "You can do it, Pastor David." What do you know? She was right again.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.