Reflecting on Discernment….

Temperatures are dropping and we are expecting rain all this week. The rain has turned cold, and the ground stays wet even between showers. The leaves are starting to drop, helped along by the storms. So I was drawn to this photo of a turtle making his way across the damp ground. My photos of turtles usually look like a picture of a rock. Perhaps I am in too much of a rush, or too clumsy. I startle the poor thing into drawing back into its shell. Box turtles can completely close their shells to protect themselves from enemies. Without looking closely, the shell blends in, almost disappearing from sight. Perhaps that is why box turtles can live to be 100 years old. In this amazing photo, the turtle is looking straight at us, as curious about us as we are about him. It seems to me that discernment is a lot like being a turtle. We look all around for answers, chasing one clue after another. Or perhaps we stew over the difficult questions of life in solitude, losing sight of everything else. We are tempted to settle for an either/or solution, when the real way out means both/and. True discernment takes time, both time apart and in community. Just as our faith includes both public worship and private prayer time, discernment involves both public and private moments. When we seek God’s will, what we seek is the still, small voice, not loud, clamoring chaos. God is eternally consistent – we are never directed to violate God’s laws. God is persistent – forget second chances, God will give you more chances that you can ever imagine. God is community – His will for you is confirmed through other believers. True discernment requires us to slow down, to tread carefully, to listen to our own hearts and to others. Take time today to discern God’s will for you. Slow down and move deliberately, carefully listening for that still, small voice. Heed the words of others, even though the conversation may seem unrelated or trivial. And trust that in time, the answer will be looking straight at you, just like this turtle. Photo by LadyBugCrossing


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