I hate public speaking. It’s the one thing I’ve hoped to avoid doing all my life. In high school, the last required courses I registered for were speech and math. I often told God that the greatest miracle would be me wanting more time in the spotlight.
I’ve been working on this miracle for quite a while. Starting with our family singing in church, to sharing a poem my grandmother had written at her memorial service. The next time was 20 years later when I hid in a small church choir. Then I taught myself to clutch the mike as a background vocalist on the worship team. The few times I actually spoke I was sure all I offered was confusing gibberish, and that embarrassed me.
When we were camping with my son’s family at McKenzie Bridge campground several weeks ago, there were no microphones, but I knew I should take the lead and give a teaching for our Sunday morning gathering. Crawling into the tent trailer to prepare a lesson for ages ranging from 3 to 58, I prayed that we might learn from a dog’s bad choices.
My husband and son, both guitar players, weren’t too keen on leading a couple worship songs as we relaxed around the fire pit, which annoyed me some. So I was on my own as I dove into my story.
Ultimate Ziggy Ball
Ziggy lived with his owners at the House of His Presence, a facility owned by our church near the U of O campus. Most of our housemates were students, and many of them loved Ziggy. The little terrier allowed some of the guys to carry him like a football in a game they called Ziggy Ball, passing him off and dodging others in the living room. Ziggy was all about having a good time, and he’d get so excited he’d take off running over furniture and up the walls. One day, however, he chose playing over obeying – and it cost him his life.
One of Ziggy’s friends took him outside to play, and Ziggy ran into the street. Though she called him repeatedly, he’d just look at her and take off again. Sadly, Ziggy was struck by a car and was killed.
Jesus’ Followers Listen to Him
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14 NIV). The sheep follow the good shepherd because they know his voice (from vs. 4).
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (vs. 27).
My grande finale was a silly song I made up on the fly:
“It’s good to listen to Jesus. It’s good to listen to Jesus. Oh, it’s good to listen to Jesus, ’cause if you don’t, you might end up like Ziggy.”
A miracle can take many years to realize, and though I’m not ready to teach a class at an OCW summer conference yet, I could handle leading a group into singing a silly song about listening to Jesus.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis