When I was a kid, I had a lot of gut feelings.
I always knew when bad news was on its way, or when I should be on guard against some unknown danger. Even then, it served me well. Once, while baby-sitting, I got a knot in my stomach and knew something was wrong. All three kids were in the yard, safe, but nonetheless I was ready for… what? Something. I gathered them inside, and soon after, the phone rang. When I picked up, a male voice asked for one of the kids. I hung up, packed up the kids, and headed across the street to my own house.
I wasn’t able to articulate why I was so on edge and worried. I was 10. Later, I learned that one of the kids had been receiving strange calls from an adult male, including descriptions of what he was wearing on a given day. Without a heads up, what had stopped me from handing the phone to that child, assuming it was a relative or the parent of a friend? I knew in my gut that something was wrong. I knew in my gut to hang up the phone.
Since then, the knot in my gut has continued as a warning. The unease I feel reminds me to be careful of a decision, to not worry that I’m running late because perhaps running late is keeping me out of an accident, or to be aware of the actions of people around me. It’s never happened that the purpose of that knot wasn’t later revealed to me, and as I’ve matured and developed my gifts, it’s even become easier for me to determine the purpose before something happens.
The uncanny ability to know, to sense something before it occurs, to suddenly be aware and on guard against a thus far invisible foe, is something that lies deep in all of us. The ability to listen must be developed, though in some of us it comes more naturally than in others. For me, the feelings have always been strong and clear, something I am grateful for. They have served as a starting point from which I’ve developing the ability to listen in other areas. Sometimes the clarity isn’t there, but there’s always enough information to make me pay attention, to be ready for the next piece of information.