Discernment

I finally just had to close my eyes in order to focus.

There are times when many distractions obfuscate reality.   The obvious could be right under our noses but other things blur or block it.

It was a perfect early fall morning, Minnesota deer archery opener.  I was so excited to be back archery hunting whitetails.   I woke without my alarm at 4:30am, made coffee, geared up, and was quickly and quietly in my tree stand without incident.  The path in was damp from the evening tule fog so the trek was silent, as was the ascent to my stand.  As the sky began to lighten, the fog gradually condensed on the forest canopy, creating the effect of light sporadic rain.  The morning thermals and light wind became variable at 5 mph, swirling in all directions.    My eyes were searching hard for movement and the whitetails I was almost certain I heard.   Acorns were abundantly falling and with the wet ground, their plopping sounded like .22 rifle shot.  My ears were perked for any noise out of the ordinary.  My bow was at the ready in the event that a deer appeared suddenly.  The woods were relatively quiet, but the impossible low decibel din of dripping leaves, falling acorns and wind tossing the treetops, made seeing or hearing any sign of deer a virtually impossibility.  So, I closed my eyes and listened.  Within several minutes my subconscious was able to filter out the ambient noises and focus on the cadence of deer walking in the distance.   They did not come under my tree, but I could finally discern them.

So it is with the voice of God.  Life is rife with distractions.  Sometimes they are unpleasant, like illness, stress, strife or anxiety.  Sometimes they are good like vacations, family, schedules or planning.  Sometimes they are just “doing life” like chores, work, deadlines or activities.  Sometimes they are addictions, like substance abuse, gambling, internet or hobby addictions.  No matter what the distraction, the urgencies, busy-ness and margin robbers of our existence can block out the truths that our Creator God wants us to know.  Sometimes in the chaos of life, we cannot discern what God wants for us.  There comes a time or times when we must stop, retreat, cleanse, relax, be quiet, pray, stop hurrying, take time away or time off, and allow God’s still small voice to be heard.  We need to close off the distractions that drown Him out.   God wants to lay on us the balm to our souls that refreshes our spirits.   But we cannot receive Him if we cannot see, hear or feel the reality of God's voice.  In our humanness we have limited ability to focus on the important when we are immersed in distraction.

Revelation 3:20 says “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”  So extract yourself, listen and open the door.  The God of the Universe wants fellowship with you.  Close your eyes.  Let the voice of God in, and then bask in His message to you.