Routine can provide a safe haven.
At work, routine also has an alluring way of providing a bubble of predictable protection that is encouraging and reassuring. Especially during busy seasons that are choc full of deadlines and seemingly neverending task lists.
Routine can also lower your guard.
Typically in these flashes of contentment my spiritual radar can puncture that pseudo bubble, alerting my soul to an impending silent storm or potential threat.
This time the silent storm waltzed right through my office front door.
Wearing lip gloss.
My eyes glanced through the colorful calendar on my monitor. My ears were alerted by the familiar click-twist-creak of my office’s front door. Two names blinked back at me once I located the bright turquoise box on the calendar which was reserved for new clients.
Precisely on time.
I felt a genuine smile warm my face as I turned to greet the couple walking through the door.
“Good morning! You must be Glen*.” I greeted the blue-eyed jovial gentleman crossing the threshold, “and Alicia,” I motioned towards the brunette woman following him.
“Yes, we are here to meet Dave,” she spoke for the both of them.
“Nice to meet you, I’m Emily,” and stretched out my hand to welcome both of them to the office.
It is within those small minding-my-own-business occasions where my soul’s radar pings without warning. A prickling wave slowly burned across my forehead as I shook her hand.
Instantly my smile felt more forced than genuine.
The business of pleasantries.
Business is business. And this was part of my job, regardless of any soul ‘pings.’
“We will be meeting in the Conference Room. Can I get either of you something to drink? Coffee or water?” I offered.
“I’ll take a coffee,” Glen charmingly requested.
“Nothing for me,” Alicia softly replied, staring at the walls.
Glen’s response was what I was used to seeing with new clients. Bright eyes brimming with great ideas. A jovial smile as he took in the modern creativity displayed in our office. Eagerly anticipating the planning process with a design professional.
Alicia’s demeanor was not what I had ever experienced walking through the door. Blank eyes staring straight ahead. A half-hearted smirk which was obviously masking a sullen disposition.
As the designers were introduced and I had delivered Glen’s coffee, I returned to my desk. I chided myself in frustration.
What was I picking up on? Was she having a bad morning?
You could blame the sudden dread that panged my chest on the flatness of her voice, the coldness of her handshake, or the way she seemed to cut her eyes at me when I spoke to her.
But no. This was one of those all-too-familiar moments.
For one of the first stories of these kind of moments, click here.
Every dang blessed time.
What I was picking up from our encounter was an opportunity to practice my spiritual gift of discernment. Usually I encountered opportunities like these in my personal life.
At the office – in my comfortable sphere of routine – I was caught off guard. Moments like this had taught me a lesson in the past.
Every. Dang. Blessed. Time.
I use this phrase in the spirit of humor, as I consistently find myself reflecting on past examples. Rolling my eyes at my ‘knowing,’ I understood all too well what was coming around the bend. And shaking it off was not a viable option.
So I watched. I listened. And kept my radar on point.
Up to bat.
After the couple had left, one of my colleagues Anne glided up to my desk, bubbling with excitement over our new client.
“Isn’t she great? Did you hear the way she spoke? And all the good things her business represents?”
“Yes ma’am,” I hesitantly responded.
I typically do not waylay people with my discernment. It usually results in them rebuking me, downplaying my spiritual intuition, thus causing frustration and lack of trust.
Funny thing is the gift of spiritual discernment does not back down.
“She is so inspirational, so spiritual!” Anne continued, “Her Christianity is evident in everything she does, everything she says, the backbone of her business!”
I am a Christian, yet I have my father’s nose for complete and utter deception. I also have the Lord’s provision of spotting this deception way before others see it. Ah, the perks of this spiritual gift.
“Don’t get too close,” the words calmly burst through my lips before I realized it.
Anne stopped in her tracks. Her green eyes blinked quizzically in disbelief at my response.
“Why do you say that?”
I worded the next few sentences carefully. But my inner knowing was up to bat.
“She is not who she presents herself to be. I know you love your clients and forge strong relationships with them. You’re the best at it. But this one…” I trailed off a bit, realizing I was sucking the wind right out of Anne’s sails.
“I’m sorry, but yes really. Just be careful around her.”
Not gonna say I told you so.
Funny thing is nobody wants to hear this phrase. So I didn’t say it. Because I didn’t have to.
Weeks went by with our new client who became increasingly chummy with Anne. I kept the pleasantries going, treating Alicia and her husband Glen with the utmost respect.
One day out of nowhere, Anne bolted out from her office, straight up to my desk almost spilling her coffee.
“You were RIGHT.”
I stopped everything and stared back at her, searching for what she was alluding to. I watched her coffee tremble in her white-knuckled cup.
She went on, “She is a master manipulator.” The lightbulb immediately sparked over my head.
Her flashing green eyes continued, “She set me up to try and con me out of a TON of free consulting work. I cannot believe it. I’m so irritated. How did you know?“
I shrugged and sheepishly replied, “I just. Knew.”
Spiritual discernment and natural senses.
This gift of spiritual discernment functions in a few different but unmistakable ways. It manifests itself through our natural senses first.
Individuals with this spiritual gift can sense a person’s true intentions beyond what is plainly visible. They can also experience these inner knowings when walking into a house, place of business, or area.
A particular scent, a taste, a chill on your skin are a few ways you can sense the presence of something good or evil. I recently read a book by Jennifer Eivaz entitled, Seeing In the Supernatural, which dives deeper into how these senses can be triggered in a discerner’s daily life.
The gift of spiritual discernment is far more than simply intuition, premonition, gut feeling or bias. However it manifests itself, it is important to trust it and conduct further research into why those ‘knowings’ are happening.
Trust your gut. Take a step back. And investigate.
Whatever you may be feeling, there is a reason. A reason to break your routine and seek out what God is trying to tell you.
Or warn you.
*All names have been changed to protect the innocent… and not so innocent.