By Gary Miller
I noticed my actions during a turkey hunt a few mornings ago. I had not heard a bird gobble for a few days, so there I was waiting again for that familiar sound. I always arrive just before daylight and make my way to a central place in order to be heard should I do a shock call and in order that I might hear the location of a bird should it choose to respond. Or sometimes I just wait silently and let the birds talk on their own. This was my position the other morning. I just stood and listened and then I sat and listened. As the sun began to rise, listening would now have to be filtered through other noises that might easily drown out the specific call I was listening for. Sometimes those other sounds are known to get a tom talking especially the caw of a crow or the shout of a rooster. Nothing seemed to stir the angst of any gobbler that morning. So I just waited as the morning grew older and refused the urge to muddy the air with my attempt to locate a bird. I decided to go to the place of my last encounter. I did so, called, and was met with the gobble I had come to hear. It was there all the time – silent. I was there all the time as well – patient. I wonder what would have happened if my silence had been replaced with noise and my patience had been replaced with activity. I’m pretty sure I know.
As I stood atop that hill that morning I was reminded that many times by call to God has seemingly been met with silence. Many of those times I equated silence with absence and left too soon. Sometimes I determined that His silence meant that I needed to call louder and more frequent. This too I misinterpreted. God’s silence is not His absence and it is also not His desire to hear more from me in order for Him to be convinced. Most of the time His silence is a test to see how my faith in Him has progressed. Not that He needs to know (He already does), but so that I might know if my trust is based on sight and sound or simply by the promises He has already given me. What should I do when I perceive His silence? I should do exactly what I did the other morning. Go to the place of my last encounter and wait.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org