Last summer we took our family to the San Diego Zoo, the largest zoo in the world. Our twelve-year-old son, Craig, had never been there, and he was delighted with the variety of birds and reptiles and other animals. But the part of the zoo that especially interested Craig was the area where the lions and the tigers were kept.
It was a sunny day, and the big cats were all fast asleep. My son thought that they should be up growling and stalking around. All the people there seemed to think so too. They were clapping their hands, shouting, and whistling. But their noise didn’t wake up the animals at all. So my son nudged me in the ribs and said, “Dad, give them your whistle.” I have a very, very shrill whistle, and, to please my son, I whistled as loudly as I could. But the lions still didn’t move.
Then I said, “Craig, listen to this.” I imitated the quiet growl of a tiger. Grrrrr!
Those lions perked up their ears and started moving about. The yelling and whistling hadn’t even disturbed them, but the quiet growl of the tiger reached through all the noise of the crowd. I put my arm on Craig’s shoulder and said, “Now you can see why Heavenly Father speaks to us in a still, small voice in such a noisy world.” We’ve referred back to that experience at the zoo a number of times.
We all need to remember the words of that wonderful Primary song: “Listen to the still small voice! Listen! Listen! when you have to make a choice. He will guide you always.” (See Children’s Songbook, page 107.) We need to listen carefully to the Spirit and to reverently reduce the noise in our lives, as Elijah did: “And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
“And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (See 1 Kgs. 19:11–12.)
Be aware that our Father in Heaven speaks to us more through feelings than through sounds. Be attuned to the Spirit. Allow times during the day, every day, when the Spirit can speak to us. We need to use Sundays to gain new spiritual strength. Sunday is a good day for listening to the Spirit so that we can recognize the still, small voice, just as the lions recognized the quiet voice of the tiger.