I'd like to introduce Gilbert Roller. Now retired, he taught music theory and music appreciation at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. As a young professor, he and his wife were not on the best financial footing, so the news his mother broke to him at the time was not at all welcome.
His mom was anything but impulsive, especially when it came to money. He was immediately convinced that she had been scammed when she told him that she had donated most of her life savings to two missionaries who had knocked on her door in Texas. Her words were, "These nice young people needed money to build a chapel in Mexico."
Gilbert Roller began a voyage of discovery about what we can call his inside voice. He writes, "We could have used that money. For years--even after I got tenure and we raised three sons--I imagined finding the drifters who had swindled Mom, though I wasn't sure what I'd do if I did."
We are hearing his outside voice, the reflection of that silent, inner conversation that streams endlessly through our minds. It is a recipe of hurt, anger, resentment, joy, love, past, present--in short, the ticker tape of residue from what life has dished out up to this moment.
Our inside voice, monitored carefully by God, is the flame-thrower, the abuser, the lover, the gentleman, the favorite encourager, the destroyer of hearts, the whatever-we-give-it-permission-to-be.
Our outside voice that interacts with people is what this residue of our life experiences offers up.
Dr. Roller must have added resentment and anger at this point in his journey. How would he teach his family and his students to love Christ with the load of bitterness added to the mix?
Over the next several days, we want to know how to train our inside voice to overcome the spoiled residue. How do we intentionally bring God into this inner sanctuary of thoughts that drive us?
Goodness, nothing seems harder. Life savings that would help his family...frittered away. Or...each of us has at least one scenario that can carry us to bitter, adding mayhem to our inside voice.
You can read the rest of the Gilbert Roller story here. I'm always grateful to Guideposts for its inspiring, real-life stories. But if you like slow anticipation, we'll learn together the rest of the Roller story and how to impact our own inside voice in a way that frees us to live the inevitable struggle of this life with the triumph God intends.
Tomorrow: A topsy-turvy God.
Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.