Do you ever get that feeling that you’re being followed?
This weekend my family and I went on a camping excursion. We went off grid for 3 whole days. Phew…I cooked on a camp stove with propane, used an out house and pumped water from a well for my family by hand. It was amazing! I loved every minute of it.
Nature is a healing balm! But it can also be very BIG and very scary. Everywhere you look there are warnings that say, you are in “bear country” and to keep everything locked up tight. They even provided bear boxes, so animals can’t get in.
On the last night, I wake up at 3 in the morning. Nature was calling. This is no big deal at home, relief is across the hall, but now, I have to put shoes on, coat on, find the flashlight in the pitch-black and unzip the tent to the biggest night sky I’ve seen in years. I swear I could see real solar systems! But then have to trek up the rock laden path and across the road to a stinky dark metal door, while keeping my eyes open all around me for bears. It was no problem on the way there. I was half asleep. But there’s this warning posted inside the outhouse door with a picture of a grizzly. (something like this one below)
Now, I’m awake.
I slowly open the door and shine my flashlight all over the place. It’s clear for the ten feet around me. I walk quickly back to the bushy path. By this time, my heart is thudding so loud in the quiet I’m afraid it’s attracting animals all by itself. I reach the edge of our campsite where there is a large bushed area and shine my light at it. Suddenly something big moves in the bush. I freeze and stare straining my eyes to see in the black night. It moves again. I shine the light up looking for that icy red-eyed gaze. Nothing.
I have to walk directly beside that bush to get down the hill to my tent.
It moves again.
I can’t see anything.
I rush towards it and cut across. I can hear it moving too, faster now. As I run, I keep my light down and across the bottom of the bush because I don’t want to trip over the rocks on the path down. The noise follows me.
I run to the tent, unzip, get in, re-zip and lay down as fast as I can.
Then it occurs to me. I’m laying behind a micro thin layer of material that it can smell through, hear through and, in one swipe of the claws, see through. I strain to hear any other noise over the swishing sound of the river going by.
Then I realized that it wasn’t that big of a movement noise. It could have been a raccoon or a squirrel for all I knew. The sound had been a startled sound and quickly diminished as I ran in my tent.
Now, I have a choice.
These are the moments that test your mental restraint. All those years, twenty to be exact, of practicing a stayed mind calmed me. I took a deep breath, stopped the emotions from swirling and asked God this.
“Was that a bear, God? Am I going to be a midnight snack?”
Quiet as the night, my inner voice responded with whiplash speed, “The closest bear to you is over ten miles away. You are my daughter, nothing will hurt you.”
I took another deep breath and fell sound asleep.
The next morning, while cooking breakfast, I heard the rustling of grass behind me again and looked. A friendly, and very fat field mouse with the softest brown eyes looked up at me from under a stump. I smiled and shook my head. “You really gave me a fright last night.” I muttered and continued to stir my pancake mix.
Sometimes what we think is the biggest situation in our lives, is really just a lot of noise. But we let situations cause our minds to get lured into the chaos we “perceive” around us, we involve others, we produce so much racket ourselves that now the problem is self-induced. How is that good?
We are believers, our renewed mind and stayed mind are the two things God asks US to control. There have been many, many times when I’ve given into that feeling and lost the battle to my lack of discipline. It has literally taken all of those twenty years to get to this point and I’m still not there. I’m not by any means perfect. If something strikes me just right, I have to really work hard to fight for my mental control. But what is it worth? I slept like a baby. I wasn’t tossing and turning all night. I didn’t have to worry.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3
Aren’t those words a healing balm?
No matter where you are the devil is out there roaring, and roaring and making a racket in the pitch black woods. IF it feels like something is following you that’s because it is. You can have any reaction you want. You have freewill. Do you launch at those around you? Do you “lose it”? Or do you ask God if it’s something you need to worry about and go back to your abundant, peaceful life? Anyone can lose control. Even toddlers do. But can you be the mature one? Can you do the loving thing and keep your head?
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
God bless you today!