April 6

“I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me.” Habakkuk 2:1

There is no waiting on God for help, and there is no help from God, without watchful expectation on our part. If we ever fail to receive strength and defense from Him, it is because we are not on the outlook for it. Many a proffered succour from Heaven goes past us, because we are not standing on our watch-tower to catch the far-off indications of its approach, and to fling open the gates of our heart for its entrance. He whose expectation does not lead him to be on the alert for its coming will get but little. Watch for God in the events of your life. (Streams in the Desert)

I sat in a white wooden rocker gently rocking back and forth to the rhythm of a grand piano held captive by a white haired artist recalling classic movie themes a mere twenty feet away. By all appearance and sound one would think I was easing into Saturday from a relaxed rural setting; instead, I sat on the edge of a congested walkway between the ‘B’ and ‘C’ concourses of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. The music and motion were both so pleasant that I could have drifted naturally into a pre-flight nap if not for the cell phone chatter, arguing children, and irregular clacking of someone’s broken wheel as they tugged their carry-on behind them like a hay wagon. I could have inserted the ear buds strategically poised in a front pocket of my own carry-on for moments just like this, but ignoring the cacophony would mean missing the live music that beckoned from the periphery opposite the chaos in between.

Spiritual formation is nothing more, but certainly nothing less, than doggedly filtering out distraction. God speaks without my asking; my role is distinguishing His voice from the competing clatter. Such filtering is a cumulative effort. Recognizing Him now, requires a heart already bent toward Him like a heavily surrounded hardwood strains toward the sun. I foster this leaning through reading and scriptural meditation, encountering the Creator in creation, and by representing Him to the hollow eyed ‘least of these.’ His melody is discernible above the base line of circumstance, but voice recognition requires familiarity. Relationship alters everything.

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