Brother Tom Lyle





Goliath's fate depended solely on young David's willingness to listen to God. Our fate depends solely on our willingness to listen to God. Are we willing to listen? (Do we listen)?


In the circle of the wise it is lovingly whispered, "When man reaches out to the Divine then the Divine reaches out to man.". In this metaphor man is required to make the first move, then a response to that first move is given in some way.


Could this response be a miracle? Yes it could. Will it be? Certainly that depends on many things known and unknown to us. Is a miracle needed, or will a subtle feeling at the right moment in the right situation be sufficient?


For the purpose of self improvement, (and we can all do better), it may be more practical to ask ourselves: to what degree will I be able to accurately recognize, understand, and apply the answer, (the response), when it comes? This depends upon many things. For example, If I have poor eye sight and I am not wearing my glasses or contact lenses at the time of a Divine response, I may visually miss all or part of that response.  Furthermore, if I have good eyesight but I am day dreaming at the time of the response, then I may also miss all or part of that response. This goes for all our five senses or any combination of them.


Our intuition, (hunches, gut feelings, etc.), is subject to the same circumstances and abuse. If we have very good intuition but are occupied at the time with thoughts of making our millions, climbing the corporate, (or fraternal), ladder, or any one of the countless other distractions, then we will miss all or part of the response.


Does this mean we have to be alert all the time? The answer to this question depends on how accurately we desire to recognize, understand, and apply for the good, the response we get from the Divine. If our desire is very strong then we, like the ideal Tiler, will strive to be on a constant vigil, for as it has been most prudently said many times in the history of Humanity, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance". If our desire is less than 100% then we will participate in the recognition, understanding, and application of the response to the same degree.


Can we increase our personal level of vigilance? The answer is definitely and absolutely yes. The how much and when depend on the intensity of our striving toward the maximization of our personal discernment.


Discernment means seeing differences. Discernment is insight. Discernment is the process of accurately seeing what exists. The more we increase our discernment the more we recognize, understand and apply the Divine's response.


Can we accurately determine, (discern), what degree of discernment a person is operating at? It may be far beyond our ability to accurately know whether a person is operating on a 3%, 46%, or 7.658% discernment; however, water still seeks its own level, and birds of a feather still flock together. (Blue birds don't fly with chicken hawks). A person on a 3% level of personal discernment will find little of common interest in a person operating on a 46% level of discernment, (no matter how good a person those individuals may be).


Are we stuck in our personal level of discernment? The answer is absolutely not. The incentive to increase our personal level of discernment is that the quality of personal living increases with an increase in our personal level of discernment. We see clearer and make better choices. Everyone can strive to maximize their operating level of discernment. How?  The best way is to ask first for Higher help, then we look for those possibilities which will lead to an increase in our discernment.


For everyone there is a next step in their personal level of discernment.  Very few know what that next step is or how to accomplish it, but as long as we are striving to maximize our discernment, then part of the response from our asking for higher help will be to lead us to those possibilities, (opportunities), as stepping stones of experience to higher discernment.


The more we increase our personal level of discernment the more we accurately recognize, understand, and apply for the good, the response from the Divine.


The more we increase our discernment the more we will understand that we must initiate the action. We must reach out to the Divine. We also must improve the quality and quantity of our listening.


For every person who says, "Speak Lord for thy servant listens", there are thousands who let their personal vanity and desires get in their way and thus are saying, "Listen Lord, for thy servant speaks.".


When we listen, let it be with honesty in our hearts and genuine gratitude for the spiritual process we are allowed to participate in. Let us be loving and grateful listeners, ever on the alert for gems of wisdom, strength and beauty in Masonry.