Excerpt from my book Go. Sow.
During my self-defense training I discovered there are four stages of perceiving danger in our world:
Guess where most people live? Most people live in the unaware state. They live life adrift on an ocean of routine, and live unaware of their surroundings.
A teacher in the Dayton area was recently abducted. Why? She was targeted because she was unaware. She was texting while walking to her car and once in the car she continued to focus on her cell phone. The bad guy simply walked up and jerked open her door. He jumped in the driver’s side, pushing her into the passenger seat and took off with the now terrified lady. She screamed. He wrecked the car and she managed to open the passenger side door and jumped out. The guy escaped but was later apprehended.
Had she been practicing awareness she would have put her phone in her purse before she left the store, looked around as she walked to her car, and then locked the doors as soon as she got in her seat.
The incident could have been averted if she had chosen to live her life from an awareness perspective. Now she lives with the trauma of the frightening incident. However, she also decided to learn to become more aware of her space and just completed a conceal and carry course. She is now a smarter and wiser woman.
Life in the Kingdom is really about learning to live life where we are aware of God’s presence.
Every believer should practice awareness and practice noticing the unnoticeable; then respond.
I’m glad God has graciously been training, me, given me the eyes to see, and a heart that seeks to understand. I’m working on responding acting on what I see, or sense.
This past summer, Pattie and I headed out to the Fraze, an open-air amphitheater near our home, for Blues Fest. Some great bands were playing and we were enjoying the time together. When we arrived we decided to buy some BBQ. We checked every vendor to see what they were serving and finally came to the last booth. As I walked up I noticed the lady serving. I suddenly had an impression that I should encourage her. Specifically I should tell her that her future was going to be greater than her past.
As I was pondering just how to navigate and communicate the impression I noticed she had a few tattoos. Then I noticed she was wearing an arrest monitor on her ankle. The impression now made sense.
I payed for my food and then said, “You might think this strange but sometimes Jesus gives me encouraging words for people. I have an encouraging word for you. Your future is going to be greater than your past.”
I gently held her arm as I spoke and continued speaking to her about her life. I spoke into her destiny. I told her how Jesus could change her life and wash away her past and propel her into her future. I then invited the Holy Spirit to come and touch her life. She looked up at me and said, “You are making me cry.”
I replied, “Jesus is here.”
I then briefly told her how I was a heavy drug user 35 years ago and Jesus had changed my life.
She paused and stated, “You have no idea how much I needed this today. Thank you.” We grabbed our BBQ, moved past the growing line behind us and walked to a patio to eat.
Pattie asked me to explain how I knew what to say and the process of it all. It’s not rocket science but it does take practice, and a willingness to respond and to experiment. Here is what I told her.