The Practice of Discernment Doesn’t Happen in a Hurry

(Learn to Discern, Principle # 16)

Discernment can’t really happen when we’re in a hurry – at least, not usually – because when we’re in a hurry, we aren’t poised to listen well. And the practice of discernment is mostly about listening well: to God, and to our own hearts in dialogue with him.

This doesn’t mean discernment can’t happen quickly. Sometimes, we need to make an important decision and outside circumstances limit the time we have to make it. If we practice discernment as a habit, if we are leading listening lives, then very often we can discern well in a short span of time.

But hurry is different. Hurry is a state of anxiousness and worry; fear is the driver when we’re in a hurry. We’re afraid we won’t make it in time, that there won’t be anything left, that someone or something won’t work well unless we’re the ones to oversee it.

There is no peace in hurry. There is no confidence that things will be ok because God is in control.

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“I Don’t Know What I Really Want.” (To Find Out, Try This)

Several years ago, I found myself sitting in a coffee shop with a friend, discussing the paths our lives were taking, and whether we should follow or change them. “I just don’t know what God wants for me,” I lamented.

“Maybe,” he offered, “God is asking you what you want.”

What did I want? In that moment, I couldn’t answer the question. Sometimes it’s hard to know our own desires.

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What Do You Want More of in Life?

“Whatever you want more of, put that front and center.”

–Michelle Martello

This piece of advice came to me in a Marie Forleo email about website design, but it also struck me as great life advice. 

If I want more time with my family, it has to be front and center. If I want more personal growth, it has to be front and centre. If I want more of a spiritual life, it has to be front and centre.

But sometimes what I feel I want more of doesn’t line up with what is actually, currently, front and centre in my life.

Maybe I want more time with family, but my career is front and centre. Maybe I want more personal growth, but social events are front and centre. Maybe I want more of a spiritual life, but my hobbies are front and centre. 

Sometimes what we think or say is important to us isn’t actually what we live out. 

Not sure what you’re putting front and centre?

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What if I Don’t Know What I Want?

(Learn to Discern, Principle #15)

Have you ever been in the midst of an agonizing decision, and had someone offer this annoying piece of advice: “It’s really simple! What do you actually want?”

And you can’t answer the question, because the whole point of why the decision is agonizing is that you don’t know what you want? And even if you did know, you aren’t sure it would be the right thing? And you kind of want option A, but another part of you wants option B?

The struggle is real.

Knowing your own desire is key in the discernment process.

Why?

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Are You an Abstainer or a Moderator?

Giving up milk is tough when you love coffee, but it’s even tougher when brie is one of your favourite foods. Several years ago, a friend suggested that I try giving up dairy as a solution to the cystic acne I had experienced my entire life. Despite my love of soft, French cheese, I decided to give it a go. Within 4 weeks I was starting to see a real change, and 10 weeks later my skin was totally different. I wasn’t in pain from cysts and the red spots on my face and neck had virtually disappeared. Needless to say, I was a convert. 

But a different friend was incredulous. “No dairy? Not even a little milk in your coffee?” She asked. “I could never give it up completely. I just need a bit.” The truth is, I didn’t have a choice- having a little milk in my coffee produced almost the same reaction as eating an entire wheel of brie. And obviously, if I was going to indulge, I’d rather have more than less! 

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