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Across the Ocean

7. Know His Voice


As Grandpa and the kids arrived at the front of the castle, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis greeted them.


Mr. Lewis said, “Did you have a fun time wandering around?”


Grandpa said, “I guess you could call it fun.“


Then, Grandpa said, “Since we’re all together now, I would like to show you the tree that was dedicated to the queen.“


Grandpa brought the family over to the edge of the parking lot. He pointed to a tree and said, “This is it! “


Mrs. Lewis said, “That was very nice of the Earl to dedicate a tree to the queen. It indicates how important the Earl was.”


Larry explained, “And we met the Earl! “


Mr. Lewis said, “We did, indeed.“


Then, Grandpa said, “I have a little lesson I would like to teach you kids.”


Larry said, “Aww. Come on, Grandpa. I thought this was gonna be a fun trip. We’re not in school, now!“


Lisa said, “That’s OK, Grandpa. If you want to teach us something, we should be ready to learn.“


Mrs. Lewis said, “Lisa, that is a very good attitude. Each of us are learning every single day of our lives.“


Grandpa said, “Follow me over to the fence where the sheep are, but don’t say anything until I tell you to.”


Grandpa led the family over to the fence where the sheep were. They stood there for a few minutes. It was very difficult for Larry and Lisa not to say something, but they agreed to follow Grandpa’s instructions.


One of the sheep decided it would come over to see who these people were. Grandpa didn’t say anything.


When the sheep got very close to the fence, Grandpa decided it was time to say something.


Grandpa started talking to the sheep. He said, “Hello. How are you today? Would you like to come with us?”


Grandpa stopped talking, and the rest of the family did as they were instructed. They still didn’t say anything.


Then, without notice, the sheep turned around and started walking away.


Grandpa said to the sheep, “Where are you going? Come back and talk to me!”


Larry was having a hard time. He started to chuckle, but he didn’t say anything.


The sheep did not turn around and come back toward Grandpa. It just kept walking further and further away.


Grandpa said, “Now, we can talk. What do you think was happening with the sheep? Why did it initially come over to see who we are? And then when it heard my voice, it decided it better walk away?”


Lisa said, “Grandpa, do you think the sheep thought that you looked like it’s shepherd?”


Grandpa said, “That’s possible. They’re probably a few different men who take care of the sheep. But obviously, I’m not one of them. The sheep needed to get a little bit closer, but then when I spoke to the sheep, it knew for sure I was not one of the shepherds. It did not recognize my voice.“


Mr. Lewis said, “Grandpa, that is really fascinating. I remember the story in the Bible about Jesus saying that His sheep know his voice and follow Him. How did you know it was going to work with these sheep?”


Grandpa said, “When Jesus used stories in the Bible for the people that He was talking to, He picked things that He was pretty sure they would understand. Of course, we all know that sheep aren’t exactly the smartest animals in the world. But they do have a basic nature that can be tapped into.”


Mrs. Lewis said, “But how were you so sure that it would work exactly as you wanted to demonstrate it?“


Grandpa said, “When my wife and I came here on our anniversary trip, I thought of doing this just for myself. I went over to the fence and one of the sheep came over to see me just like today. When I started talking to the sheep, it very quickly turned around and walked away. My wife was watching from the distance. She thought it was very instructive. I captured the whole thing on a video.“


Larry said “At first I thought it was funny. But now I see that it really is important for us to learn from nature.”


Grandpa said, “God has many ways of speaking to his children. He doesn’t always do it the same way, even for the same person. However, I have found that God enjoys using nature to help his children understand difficult concepts. I thought it would be helpful to introduce this to the children, so that they would be alert to the times when God decides He wants to share things with them in a similar way. “


Larry said, “Grandpa, I think we need to tell Mom and Dad what happened while we were exploring the castle without them.“


Lisa said, “I agree. Mom and Dad, we don’t want to be hiding things from you, but we also don’t want you to be worried unnecessarily.“


Mrs. Lewis said, “What happened, sweetie? Are you all OK?”


Grandpa said, “I let the kids go by themselves down a little path toward the river. I realize now I probably should not have allowed them to go. But it did seem to be safe.”


Lisa said, “Larry and I both wanted to go down the hill, but I think I was the one who was not being careful to look out for the dangerous situation. But Larry did. Actually, he probably saved me from being injured very severely. I am so grateful for having a brother who is willing to look out for me and care for me.“


Larry said, “Grandpa told me that I was supposed to stand very close to Lisa. I wasn’t quite sure why, but when I heard him say it, I remembered that in my dream about visiting the castle, Grandpa said exactly the same thing. I believe my dream was God’s way of letting me know that there was something potentially dangerous.“


Mr. Lewis said, “Thank you for letting us know. I know that probably was hard to do. But when we see that God is warning us, we should not ignore it. Let’s pray a quick prayer right now, and thank God for sending the warning message to us.”


This was Mr. Lewis’s prayer, “We thank you, Lord for allowing us to come on this trip. We also thank you for giving us wise counselors and people to assist us in the administrative parts of this trip, but most importantly, to warn us when there are times of potential danger. We know you will continue to watch over us for the rest of this trip.“


The whole family, and Grandpa, said in unison, “Amen!“

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