A raven got me out of bed this morning. And a talking rabbit gave me my tasks for the day. Well, the last part I made up. There was a loud thump, then another outside which gave cause for me to open my eyes and retreat from the halfway world. I couldn’t see anything, usually this indicates a squirrel beginning his or her day (always earlier on a sunny morning). I closed my eyes again, then heard a third thump. I turned and looked out once more. The gray, bristling hairs of a tail were moving behind my snowshoes. He was collecting the leavings of seed fallen from the rail. Then I noticed the raven flying across the driveway, low, about four feet off the ground. He cawed, announcing himself. Back and forth he went, then into a bare black oak which sits directly across from my window. Branches too small for his weight made him awkwardly walk along, stumbling, I’m not sure what he was doing. Then to the power line, hopping around, looking much more ungainly than in the air. It hopped to the ground. I got up to look at what it was doing. All I could see was it picking up pine needles. The ravens are nesting. This one seemed worried about the progress of the nursery. It did get me out of bed and to my tasks. I should have asked it about the goings on of the wider world.

I remain groggy at this point. Feeling the lingering effects of my cold too long continuing. The mind yearns, but can’t quite grasp, vacillating between highs and lows. There is a energy to grace given, an enthusiasm of the soul when we are charged to do a task, if we are willing to listen. Then when the task is done, or the decision is made the grace is removed, so our doubts and fears return us to our natural state, unsure of what we did, knowing in the moment we could do nothing else. Both are aspects to be expected. If grace is not given, then God is likely not in a task. Though grace removed does not mean a task was or is unnecessary. Our souls are elevated at times to take hold of those things, boosts to push us up to the next rung.

At least this is true for me. I don’t know how it works for others. In general this is the mode of discernment, highs and lows in response to God’s favor or warning. The army concept of “hurry up and wait” comes to mind. God pushes us to go, and we go, then he lets us wait.

So, having acted in ways which seemed right, made decisions which at the time I could do nothing else, now I am left with the doubts of all this. Which is why the memory of those heights are so important, and the decisions made during those times are more substantial. There is an ebb and flow to the Spirit in our midst, which if expected gives ease even during times of its seeming absence.