When you heard the whistle, you moved. It didn't matter if you were three blocks away or two doors down, when my mom whistled we all knew it was time to go home. I remember being at the park, hearing the whistle and telling my friend I had to go. She said, "Why don't you just stay a little longer and tell her you didn't hear it?" My response: "Because she'll know I was lying... we can always hear the whistle."
Thinking about that makes me chuckle a little now that I have my own little guy. I find myself telling him often: "Listen and obey." Even at 16 months, I see the wheels in his little head turning - 'To obey or to do what I want...' No one had to teach him to be disobedient or selfish, but I do need to teach him how to be obedient. Just like my mom had to teach me to come home when I heard the whistle.
This is what the Lord has been teaching me lately... to listen and obey. So often when I hear his gentle voice say, Go I wait around pretending like I didn't hear. When I feel a nudge from the Spirit to pray over someone, to speak the truth of the Gospel or give an encouraging word, I hesitate. Like my son Andrew, I want to do what I want. I don't want to be called out of my comfort zone to what could be an awkward situation. I don't want to risk rejection or humiliation. I want to cuddle up with familiarity and safety.
But we have not been called to safety and comfort (though I find myself longing for it daily). As believers in Christ, he has called us to adventure, danger and a fight for people's souls.
I want to be as in tune to the Spirit of God as I was to my mom's whistle. When I hear it, it means it's time to move.