On Tuesday of this week, while sitting at my desk visiting with Jeff and Kathy, I grabbed the office phone when it rang. The caller said, simply, "Reverend Oliver." Of course, I knew IMMEDIATELY who it was - it was my dear friend Luke, who I got to know when I was in college.

Luke is one of those friends that is like a brother to me, in that we may not talk or text every day or week, but when we do it's like we never were apart. I treasure the times I spend with Luke, and ALWAYS look forward to our times of chatting.

Anyway, I told Luke that I was meeting with a few people and it would be a little while before I could call him back. Being the good friend that Luke is, there was no problem on his end.

After lunch, I called Luke back to catch up. We shot the bull a little, and then I apologized for not calling him back sooner. He said, "I didn't call you this morning." Luke being a good friend, I just assumed he was messing with me. A little back-and-forth ensues, then he says, "Really, man. I didn't call you this morning - we didn't speak this morning."

I have a feeling this will be one of those stories that, like all good stories between friends of any significant duration, will be brought up for many years to come, with a laugh at my expense.

Thing is, I am now sitting here wondering who it was that I thought I knew so well that I could call him back simply by hearing his voice. *69 didn't work, for I got a telemarketing firm's boiler room.

A short while later, when I sat down to write this week's post, it came to me that this incident is a good reminder for why it is we are called to be in constant communion with God through all the spiritual disciplines, individual and corporate. When we drift away from those things that keep us in constant touch with our Lord, it can become real easy to mis-hear a voice as that of God.

While it was great to catch up with Luke, I am upset that I promised someone that supposedly know well enough to return their call, who is counting on me to return that call, will not hear from me.

The question this incident leaves me with is:

In what ways are we, individually, engaging in the life of faith and communion with God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit so that we can with some certain assurance know that the voice we are hearing, and the inspiration we are sensing, is from God and not simply us mishearing things because we take for granted that we know the voice we hear?

Grace and Peace, Lamar