Just a Trace

aerial photograph from plane window

Power-line trace indicated by red arrow. Click the picture to view full-size.

Resting my Kindle on the fold-down tray-top, I gazed out the plane window.

I absentmindedly watched the earth drift lazily by, while pondering the words I had just read.  At several thousand feet above the ground, my mind was a million miles away.

My eye caught the patchwork pattern of fields marked off in sections, quarter sections, and 40-acre plots.  I noted a river winding in the distance, with tree-covered banks.  County roads followed the section lines, complete with township jogs, while a state highway cut across the pattern.  Occasional farm houses and out-buildings dotted the landscape.

A thin straight line, cutting through forest and across fields, captured my attention.  Though too thin to be a highway, it cut straight across the terrain, leaving a distinct delineating mark.  “Power-line trace,” my mind instantly registered…then just as quickly I wondered how I knew that.

We were at far too high an altitude for power-line poles, or even towers, to be visible.  I couldn’t see any lines or poles, just a thin straight line of slightly different shade and color than the forest and fields on either side.  Yet I instantly recognized it as a power-line trace.

I’ve hiked enough woods, walked enough fields, and crossed enough power-lines to recognize the break in pattern…to understand the nature of power-line traces and how they run.

I just knew…and I knew that I knew…

And I realized…this is what Jesus spoke of when He told Nicodemus,

The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.  (John 3:8)

How do we know the Spirit of God?  How do we discern where He is at work?  How do we recognize His children?

By His trace…the recognizable break in pattern that tells of His coming and going, even though we cannot see Him, nor know from where He comes or where He leads…

Walk long enough with the Holy Spirit…spend enough time searching for His will…encounter enough life-circumstances requiring complete reliance on Him…and we learn to know His ways…to recognize His touch and how He works.

And we just know…and we know that we know…

How does God speak to you?

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