First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Adjusting to the environment

July 1, 2016

"Three blind mice, see how they run...."

Had a wonderful opportunity to offer a chapel service for the residents at a local assisted living facility. Afterward, I broke bread with 6 of our church members who happen to reside there. What a blessing and fun time. We laughed. We learned more about each other and eventually we shared a yummy meal.     While we waited, I noticed a 'resident' cat walk through the dining area. I couldn't resist. I called, "Hey there little kitty, where are you going?" Don't let images of Dr. Doolittle flood your head right now, I'm not him. The cat, named Noel, stopped, cocked her head sideways and looked at the wall. I thought, "Hmm, typical feline." She then continued on her way and so I talked some more to no avail. I then used my cat whisperer techniques and immediately Noel stopped and looked back in my direction. She was looking about four feet to my left and so I used the cat whisperer sound one more time. This time Noel locked onto me and started back curling her tail as she came. It was then I noticed Noel had no eyes. She is blind. I lowered my hand and she then left her sense of smell take over. She loved the attention she received and then moved on. Amazing!

     Without sight, she moves through this enormous facility using only her sense of hearing and smell. Occasionally, if someone calls to her, she'll come back but only if you continue to give her audible cues. Noel somehow knows how to navigate even in the midst of her great deficit of sight. She relies on the grace of unseen beings around her. She is needy yet self sufficient to a degree.

    It seems to follow that those who have the greatest needs in life can often find ways to adapt to their surroundings. Jesus was speaking of people who suffer a great deficit and yet can have the blessings of everything. Take a look at this 'Beatitude'.

        “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3, NIV)

Contrast Noel with cats that have full control of their faculties. Generally speaking cats will ignore you if they so chose. And maybe at one time long ago Noel (with perfect eyesight) would walk right by somebody seeking to pet and love her, but when eyesight left, she had to change. Somewhere in her brain, it became clear that survival would depend on her sense of hearing and smell.  Trust inside Noel would have had to grow exponentially.

    Consider how many people with clear control of all their senses chose to avoid, ignore, and in general defend themselves against God's searching grace and love. They feel no need to stop and listen to God's plan for their life. Some will acknowledge God's call but will often keep right on walking away. Others will turn to look back to God's call, but other distractions will cause them to not lock onto the source of life.

Still others will earnestly seek the voice and will eventually zero in on the source of the call and come back to receive attention and love.

    Conditions in our environmental circle will often dictate how we'll respond to God's call. Are we needy and seeking hope in our turmoil? Chances are we'll be open to God's still small voice calling our name. If we are fairly autonomous, we'll chose to ignore God's whisper and keep going our merry way.

God's word has something to say about folks in this category too.

        "The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have

        eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.          

        (Ezekiel 12:1-2, NIV)

Stop right now and assess your situation. Are you fully functional and yet not connected to your creator God? Is there a disconnection between your response to God's call to you? What needs to change in your sphere of senses in order for you to enjoy a close and growing relationship with the one who whispers to you?

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