The most common form of altered consciousness is known as day dreaming. Consciousness is our level of awareness of what’s going on around us and in us at all times. Levels of consciousness are often changing throughout the day, as individuals struggle to concerntrate as brains wander. As a child, I day dreamed about being a professional athlete. When my golfing career ended at Qualifying School in 1995, my goals changed toward becoming a good and faithful husband. Twenty five years later, my dreams have shifted toward becoming a professional screen writer while I enjoy retirement.
The next day, as they were on their way and were approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof of the house about the sixth hour (noon) to pray, 10 but he became hungry and wanted something to eat. While the meal was being prepared he fell into a trance, Acts 10:9-10.
The term “trance” is associated with meditation, magic, energetic flow and prayer. Trance like states are used by shamans, mystics, and fakirs in healing rituals, Meanwhile, hypnotherapists, psychiatrists and sports psychologists are among modern therapists who use trances today. As a former long distance runner, I often blacked out for a period of time while training. For a quarter mile or more, I slipped into a trance as I listened to music. The sound of a car horn, the beginning of a favorite song or a new thought snapped me out of this state. In the passage above, Peter fell into a trance while praying. The smell of a freshly cooked meal altered his mind, preparing Peter for God’s vision and message.
I will stand at my guard post and station myself on the tower; and I will keep watch to see what He will say to me, and what answer I will give [as His spokesman] when I am reproved. 2 Then the Lord answered me and said,“Write the vision and engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets so that the one who reads it will run, Habakkuk 2:1-2.
While speaking to his disciples or addressing a large crowd, Jesus chose an interesting expression, “let him who has ears, hear.” Apparently, human beings have a habit of tuning out when someone else is speaking. Some may day dream, others fall into trances while many are distracted by their own schedule. Thus, Jesus is urging his followers to not just listen, but act upon the message God has for your life. Day dreaming or trance like states distract individuals from becoming doers of God’s Word. While God uses a plethora of methods (angels, the Bible, dreams, music, prophets and prayer) for communicating to and with those who believe, Jesus yearns for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. May the Lord help you overcome the distractions in life to be attentive to God’s next spiritual message.
by Jay Mankus