I am not perfect, I’m going to make misstates.
Ooops. I mean, I am going to make mistakes. Not only that, I will probably squander time and talent making less than great choices.
Let’s face it, no one walks through life bathed in a flawless light of maturity and virtue. I can’t be afraid to make errors, they’re going to happen. But there has to be a way to get better at figuring out how to use my abilities the way God wants me to use them.
Fortunately, there is. It’s taking the time to sit back and pray for knowledge to choose the right thing. Then, it’s taking on the problem and making the best decision possible.
The process is sometimes called discernment. I think It’s a lot like panning for gold. You grab your sifting pan filled with ideas, confusion and lack of clarity, and start working to eliminate all the things that have no value. Moving quietly, with peace and patience, all the dirt and sludge is eventually washed away. That pearl of wisdom lies just under all the things that appear so dreary, worthless and distracting.
When I was a junior in high school, my mother asked me that age old question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Oh jeez. I had no idea. She wanted to help me pick a college that would give me the education I wanted. Trouble was, I didn’t know what I wanted. I knew I couldn’t do math to save my life, so that was out. I had no drawing ability, my art work looked like third grader did it.
I looked through books, I studied college majors. Nothing was really calling my name. So, as teenagers usually do, I called an expert. My expert was my seventeen year old best friend. She was going to be a nurse. Really? That sounded good. Sold!
So, four years of college and a degree later, I was a nurse. I had over twenty years of happiness and fulfillment in my profession. I thank God for leading me to something that I loved to do.
Through my mothers question, God was calling me to discover my role in the world he created. My discernment process included spending quiet time reviewing my own talents, and paging through books. Then he waited for me to be prepared to talk to my friend. He spoke clearly through a high school buddy, hoping that I would see my future in hers.
Our God speaks in so many different ways. Life experience, past successes and failures, input from family and friends, finances and free time resources…all speak to direct our thoughts in the quiet work of discernment.
This process of decision-making shouldn’t be rushed. There are going to be times of waiting. I know that the Lord waited for me to be good and confused before he led me to my friend. But it was all part of his perfect plan.
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