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Monday, 03 August 2020 07:00

3 Discernment Reminders from a Crazy Geocaching Sister

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One of the latest things that I love to do is to go geocaching. In case you have never heard of it, geocaching is a GPS based treasure hunt where you search for containers of various sizes that are hidden at particular coordinates. (for more info, go to www.geocahing.com). People all over the world do it, and there are literally thousands and thousands of them to find. At the start of this year, I set a goal to find 366 throughout the year – the equivalent of one each day – but Covid has put a stop to that goal for the time being. 

Anyway, the excitement when I discover one brings me alive. I notice that I can’t help but smile, my heart beats a little faster and I am aware of life and joy growing inside of me.  I love the creativity that some people go to in order to hide them in unexpected ways. One of the geocaches that I had the most fun finding was called Give me a home among the gumtrees’. This cache was hidden in a shoebox sized ‘hut’ built of wood and secured high up among the tallest branches of the trees, accessible only by a pulley system that was also deeply camouflaged. When I discovered this and worked out how to lower it in order to add my name to the logbook hidden inside the cache, I could not wait to tell all my fellow caching friends about my amazing find. (If you look carefully at the images above, you might be able to spot the hut at home in the gumtrees)

But at the same time there has also been some elusive caches which have proved nearly impossible, leaving me feeling a little frustrated. I wonder what has gone wrong, especially when it appears that I am in the right place. Is it that the cache has gone missing? I wonder if I am simply not seeing it – is it too well camouflaged or do I need to look again or look from a different angle. Do I need to return with a caching buddy, so that with a second pair of eyes, what was previously unseen for me may become apparent? Sometimes these strategies can result in a find, and at other times they don’t – such is the life of a geocacher.

But what does this really have to do with discernment – I think there are three main things that we can take from these treasure hunting adventures which can be helpful reminders in times of discernment

  • Finding what you seek will bring you alive

On a much deeper level than simply finding a geocache, when we discover the place that God is leading us to be, we come alive. This mean that in a time of discernment, it is good to stop and reflect on the things that set us on fire NOW, the things that bring us alive NOW, the things that we are passionate about NOW. This gives us clues in discovering the way that God is leading us forth.

  • Creativity

I said that I love the creativity of those who hide geocaches – from bison tubes camouflaged in trees, to caches hidden under water, to extra screws in a park bench that when loosened actually reveal a cache. However, the creativity of God that we are invited to discover is far greater than this. In discernment, we are ultimately seeking Jesus, but it is also true that there are many ways to love and live with him and for him. God invites us to be ourselves, and not a carbon copy of someone else. What are the unique gifts God has given to you?

  • Look Again

I mentioned a couple of ways I have ‘looked again’ for a cache that seemed elusive. I have found both looking at a different angle and taking another cacher back with me to look again helpful. I think the same is true for discernment. Perhaps God invites you to look again at key turning points in your life, to see if there in something new he would speak to you through these. Or perhaps, he is inviting you to share your discernment journey with another, given that another pair of eyes can help provide perspective.

So wherever you are on your discernment journey, I pray these reminders might encourage you at this time, giving you fresh insight in your journey….. and if you have never been, I thoroughly recommend geocaching!

Mel Edwards