Compromised, but aware!

As you can tell from previous blog posts that Jamie and I are passionate about situational awareness, or the act of being aware and cognizant of what is going around you, without distraction.  This awareness is almost always noted in terms of observing with your eyes other people or “people watching” to put it bluntly.  More often than not, if you are aware of what is going on around you, you can pick up on something that tells you something isn’t right or something is going to happen, and take action accordingly.

Every once in awhile I like to be pampered, as I’m sure most of you ladies do.  It’s a part of many of our life routines, where we may get massages, facials, or other activities which are meant to relax you, and generally involve covering your eyes to relax.  Jamie and I decided to indulge in an hour long foot massage at a new business not knowing what to expect.  Most places I had been to had not covered my eyes, but this place did.  And thus this relaxing foot massage turned into a very fascinating lesson on how our other senses emerge when one sense is inhibited.  What happens if you don’t have your sight?  Does that put you immediately into a state of non-awareness?

I knew I wanted to stay alert, to be able to react if something bad was going to happen.  Let’s face it, there’s so much evil in the world today, and even places where people go to relax can have horrific violence (note the tragedy not too long ago at a yoga studio in Florida).  We have to be on the alert everywhere today, there is no safe place.  So I had made a conscious decision that I could not allow myself to fully relax, which in my case means falling blissfully asleep.  Instead I started to focus on the only other senses I had, mainly my hearing.  It was amazing how I started to listen, and as I could hear other people breathing, I began to take note of where people were, and general proximity.  I heard every time the main door opened and a new client came in.  I listened to the hushed conversation and could hear it more clearly than I would expect.  It became a game.  When I heard someone move, I peeked out of the blindfold to see if I had correctly determined what had happened.  Even though my sight was gone, I was fully aware of my surroundings and was ready to react if needed.

We live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7

We have our faith and trust in the Lord, by hearing from others, reading His word and feeling/experiencing His love, even though we have never stood face to face seeing Jesus.  We relied on our other senses to make that important life decision to follow Him.

Obviously this situation during my massage was not ideal, and we all have to make hard choices on whether we put ourselves into situations where we may be compromising our own and our flock’s safety.  I’m not sure if I will put myself in that situation again.  I may ask to not have my eyes covered, or find another establishment that has me in a more aware position, sitting up without an eye covering.  Another tangible example…  Jamie has decided that no movie is worth watching in a movie theater.  Think about how a theater changes what you can do to be aware, and limits your actions.

By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
by his knowledge the deeps were divided,

and the clouds let drop the dew.
Proverbs 3:19-20 (NIV)

If God needed wisdom, understanding and knowledge for creation, how much more should we gain from having these same attributes for what we do!  With any activity outside the home you must have knowledge of the activity and what it entails, understanding what that does for your awareness, and wisdom to determine whether doing the activity is worth the risk.  You may find that it’s okay giving up a bit of enjoyment to ensure your flock’s safety.  If you choose to still participate in the activity, work to find ways to stay aware and make a plan, even given compromises the activity may place on you.

Shepherdess – wisdom, understanding and knowledge are key for choosing well for your flock’s safety…


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