Monday, April 14, 2014

Discernment Can Be Frustrating

Discernment is the act of making a decision and basing that decision on what we believe God wants.   That's not a definition out of any dictionary or anything---it is straight out of my own head so feel free to criticize it.    Normally when we think of someone discerning something, we imagine a young man or woman trying to determine whether they should go down the road to the religious life as a priest or brother or as a nun for the ladies versus pursuing the married life.    But in reality, we should use the act of discernment in any major life decision we face and even in our daily run of the mill decisions.  After all, if we base our decisions on what God's will it we should end up pretty good.

The problem with discernment is that we cannot ever really be too sure that the decision we come to is ours or God's.    It is not very often that God appears as a burning bush and explicitly tell us what to do.   He gave Moses a couple of tablet with His rules and He told Noah the exact specifications on how to build the ark.   No, for us we pray and hope that God gives us the grace to make the right decision.

I understand the rationale----God does not come right out and say, "Jamie, I want you to do <blank>" because He wants to give us free will to make our own decisions and not be mere robots.    He want us to love Him freely.

But what about when we freely want to do His will.   "Here I am, Lord, I'm here to serve you.  Tell me what you want.   Just stinking tell me what you want already!   Whatever it is, I'll do it."   It can be downright frustrating.

I've been told that when you've come to the right decision you will have a feeling of peace.  I can understand that.   I have no doubt that I am where God wants me in life is because one of the places on Earth that I feel the most safe, secure and happy is when I'm with my wife, Abby.   I'm at peace.

But what about when you make a decision and you are at peace with it and you are happy with the decision and you have no doubt that this is what God wants from you and you have obstacles thrown in your way.  "God, I thought this is what you wanted.   Shouldn't the road ahead of me be paved smoothly?  Shouldn't I have smooth sailing?  Why all of the barrier and obstacles?"

I realize that the Devil is the one throwing obstacles in our way just as he is the one that tempts us and lures us to sin.    I realize that you have to have persistence and patience to follow through on the decision you made through your discernment.   But would it be too difficult to give me a little pat on my back or whisper in my ear so I know I'm on the right path??

1 comment:

  1. Oh man...been there done that. Still there many times and still doing that. Prayers for you, my friend.