It was a cold, dark morning.
The dawn was still far away.
It was only starlight that gave shadows in the bush.
I always started my mornings earlier than anyone else, because I found it was the best way to know the wildlife.
I liked to them from how they arose in the mornings. From the moment they started their day, or ended their night.
Amid the mist laden valleys, the low roars of lions filled the cold air.
And based on the general direction, I had an idea of where the lions would be.
So I followed my instincts…
It was still very dark.
But I had a feeling, if I went to a particular place and waited, eventually the light of day would show me what I was certain would come…
I knew could try and follow the calls of the lions alone, and hope to pinpoint where they were, but I paused. Simply reacting to their calls I felt would more likely lead to confusion. The echos were to untrustworthy for exact direction.
So I instead trusted my instinct.
I went to the place…and waited in the silence of darkness.
Birds began to chirp as a pale light touched the horizon.
I hoped I was not wrong. But perhaps I was? Maybe they would not come at all. And I was waiting for nothing…
But then in the darkness, I saw the eyes.
Not because they were glowing, for I was not using a light.
Only because it is always the eyes that stand out to me first.
An animal in the bushes can be completely hidden, but I always catch the movement of their eyes. There lay the great lion.
As the light of the world increased, I was able to snap this picture of the lion in the shadows.
And then all around came through roars of his pride, and one by one, each lion arose from the hills and shadows, and padded out into the open.
And such is the glory of this lesson…In the darkest of times, when all around us the answer seems to be to follow the loudest call, we often think it would be much easier to simply react, and fall into the temptations of what we see as “safety”, for that can be such a loud and easy call.
Yet when we arrive, we realize it is not safety or peace.
It is in fact the same shadows as where we were before.
Sometimes, we need to rather pause, in the darkness, and allow light to come on it’s own, and thus bring clarification.
We cannot force the dawn to rise. But we can choose to pause.
Simply reacting and running to the first loud call will lead to the lions you cannot see.
But pausing, and choosing your reaction, because it is always your choice, this will show you the lion in the bush.
And then you will know the glory of the lions’ roar, instead of the terror.