Long ago there was a garden, where God cared for all the animals and plants.
In this garden, all the animals were friendly and food grew on the plants, bushes and trees.
The weather was always mild and no one had to work hard.
After a long time people had started to move away from God and the garden.
These people moved outside the garden where everything was rough and wild.
Things changed slowly, the weather got worse, even in the garden.
Even the people still in the garden had to take shelter and wear warmer clothes.
Every now and then a bushfire or flood would come through the garden.
When the people listened carefully to God, they found that they could avoid these tragedies.
One night, a family had settled down to sleep in their snug warm cave.
The youngest boy had been talking to God that night.
He fell asleep with God’s thoughts on his mind.
About midnight, the boy suddenly sat up wide awake.
He thought he had heard a voice calling him by name.
He got up and went to his father and said “Here I am Daddy, you called me.”
The father woke up with surprise and listened to his son.
“No I didn’t call you. Are you sure it wasn’t someone else?”
“Go back to sleep, there is no else who would call you.”
No sooner had the boy fallen asleep than he woke up again. He was sure he had been called.
He went back to his father and woke him up again.
This time the father realised that God was calling the boy. He told him what to do.
Just after the boy had fallen asleep he heard the voice again for the third time.
This time the boy got out of bed and sat in meditation to listen to God.
Although no one else heard the voice, the boy heard God clearly.
God told the boy that they would all need to leave their cave.
The next afternoon there would be an earthquake.
While God could not stop the earthquake God could warn those who could hear.
The next morning, at breakfast the father asked the boy what God had said.
The boy gave his family the earthquake warning.
Some of his brothers and sisters laughed and scoffed.
The father believed the message and told his family to leave the cave by lunchtime.
They were told to wait out in the field.
The whole family respected their father and did what they were told.
By afternoon they were all out in the middle of the field.
All the animals trooped out of the woods and joined them in the field.
Then the birds stopped singing and all was silent.
In the distance they could hear a loud roar.
The roaring got louder and louder; then the earth shook and went on shaking.
After a minute the roaring passed on and the earth stopped shaking.
The birds and animals started praising God for their warning.
Even the people thanked God for their warning.
They all felt safe again.
When they went back to the cave, the family found it had collapsed.
If anyone had been left there during the earthquake they would have been crushed.
The children were glad that they did what their father and mother had told them.
The father and mother were glad that their youngest son could still hear God.
Listening to God was just getting harder and harder these days.
Finding another cave would be easy.