“So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil.” – 1 Kings 3:9
Life on the Plains has one very subtle but important difference than life in the valley or on the mountaintops. When we are suffering or ecstatic, there is an extraordinary element to our circumstance. We try to avoid the extreme hurtful situations and long for the ones that make us feel extremely good.
The plains have a different feel. They are quite ordinary. It is how life is. This is both the great benefit of the plains and the great danger. The benefit comes when we understand that ordinary life is life as it should be. It is a life of responsibility and choices.
Discernment is the key for navigation in the plains. Our perspective determines whether we fall asleep in the plains or are most awakened.
When our discernment is miscalibrated, we think our circumstances determine our happiness, and perhaps need to change. We think we can’t serve or choose or love unless we get to the mountains (or even, to some, unless the valley imposes upon us).
When our discernment is aligned to the true North, we are able to perceive that life on the plains is an incredible opportunity. Living by faith when the routines of life inform us that we are in control is a great challenge. To have a judging heart in order to discern the good opportunities of the day rather than succumb to the evils of apathy. It is in embracing and succeeding in this challenge that some of our greatest blessings can be found.