My dad – Rev. G. Vaughn Drummonds – taught me so much about himself, as well as about God the Father, in such a way that the many lessons were life changers for me. There is one occasion that came to mind just the other day.
It was an early summer evening in Alma, Michigan. I was 10 or eleven years old and my friends and I would play as long as we possibly could. And that means until we were called in to finally end the day.
The rule was simple in our safe little neighborhood of unlocked doors of the early 1960’s. When you are summoned, you get home right then, no delays. And the manner in which I was ordered home was as unique as my dad himself. It was his very very BIG whistle! The sound of his whistle was so loud it scared most if they were very close when it sounded. And was so unique I knew without question it was his!
On this particular evening I got so engrossed in our neighborhood fun that I kept venturing further and further away from home. I lost total contact with the reality that the time of being called to come in had come and gone.
Then suddenly there he was … standing not far from his running car with door open and his incredibly unique stare, arms folded, waiting for my return to reality to kick in. He had been driving around the blocks of our home searching for me for quite some time.
“What are you doing here?!” came the question.
I had no answer of course as I was being ushered unceremoniously toward the car.
“I was worried sick about you! I couldn’t find you anywhere! You didn’t answer my whistle, or come to my call! I thought something had happened to you!”
And then it came.
“Do you know why you can only go so far from the house when you play?” he asked.
“Yeah.” I mumbled. “So I will come home when I am supposed to.”
I was so hoping that answer was the right one so there would be no more questions. But of course it wasn’t over just yet.
“That’s right. But there is an even more important reason than that. And that is this … ”
And then came. The words I will never forget.
“When I whistle—and you are close enough for you to hear me—that means that if you really needed me I could find you and get to you. It means I can always help you no matter what. It means you are within my reach. Don’t you ever forget that!”
And I never did.
That lesson impacted my thinking from that day to this.
And with respect to my Heavenly Father, the premise is exactly the same. He wants me to stay close within the sound of His call. It is when I wander off and loose focus of Him and His voice that danger is lurking. And He reminds me of that in much the same way as my dad did that summer evening of my boyhood. It is with a sense of urgency, with the supreme motive being my safety. It is fatherly love in its purest sense. And it is as simple as this verse in Isaiah that says, “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live … ” (Isaiah 55:3a NKJV)
That was an uncomfortable moment when it happened way back as a youngster in Alma, Michigan in the 1960’s, but I am so thankful for a dad who was watching over me … always ready to make sure I safely found my way home.
If we “incline our ear” to the One who cares most about our safety and well-being, we will always find our way home.
Just a thought …