What do Bison and baseball have in common? Well, other than starting with the letter B, they were the two things we observed this past Saturday. The decision to purchase a year-long state park pass was such a great idea. It has allowed us to drive through a fabulous state park whenever we head that direction. So, as we drove to the boy’s high school baseball tournament, we swung through the bison trail part of the park.
I was so excited to find that the herd of bison was out beside the road that day. In fact, it was causing quite the traffic jam due to the ones that were actually standing in the way which made driving through a little more sketchy. My husband was a little irritated by this because he knows that bison will show clear signs if they are getting annoyed. These animals we were viewing were calm and would simply move out of the way if we drove through. Obviously, the people in front of us did not have this understanding.
Personally, I get why they were nervous. I have learned that when you are around large, powerful animals, there is a need for staying alert. Growing up with cattle on a farm, my father taught me to keep clear of the bull. He also showed us the signs to look for so we would be ready to get out of the way if necessary. The message always was loud and clear; when you are around anything more powerful than you, stay alert.
This message to stay alert is also essential when I think about the concept of becoming home; carrying the atmosphere of home to everyone we meet. As I have stated in a previous post, the key to creating the atmosphere of home around us is the power of the presence of Jesus within us. The Spirit of Jesus is the most powerful force there is. Because His power is so crucial to my ability to become home, I must live alert to the signs He gives that He is about to act.
Physically we have senses that help us read situations. For instance, my sense of sight is what I use to determine if the Bison was going to ram our car or just walk away. Spiritually, we have senses too. When we have received Jesus into our lives as Lord and Savior, we are given the indwelling Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and He brings to life our spiritual senses.
These spiritual senses are what we can use to stay attune to the presence of Jesus, and what He is up to around us. Brother Lawrence called this practicing the presence in his book “The Practice of the Presence of God”. Just as my husband has studied how animals give signs of their movement, we can learn to understand how the presence of Jesus looks in our lives.
One way I have learned that Jesus shows me He is at work is in dreams. Just this weekend, I was given a dream about a sweet girl who had been one of my students back when I was a teacher. In the dream, she was in distress. I knew when I woke up, I needed to be in prayer for her. Then, as I talked to her parents in church on Sunday, it confirmed what God had revealed, and I was able to encourage them that God cared enough to let me know to pray for her. Her parents were blessed, and they knew as they shared this with her she would be encouraged.
You see, as I stay alert to and act on what Jesus is doing, I can create an atmosphere of love and care. This atmosphere feels like home. So, I was able to become home for this beautiful family. This is what becoming home can look like
The powerful presence of Jesus can show up, not only in dreams but as a wave of compassion for someone. He has also revealed opportunities to me through a still small voice in my thoughts that someone needs a hug or a simple word of encouragement. Remember, Jesus so loves the world He wants everyone to know He is their home. As we learn to practice His presence and lean into Him, He will help us to create an atmosphere of home no matter where we are.
When you became a follower of Jesus, you were given a lifetime pass to “park” of the presence of Jesus. I want to encourage you today, as you drive down the trails that take you near the powerful presence of Jesus, stay alert. He is standing on the pathway and would love to show you the signs of what He is up to. Jesus is inviting us every day to join Him in becoming home.