Discerning the will of God
Movies tend to depict God's voice as a booming deep and manly voice that seems to shout out to you when you need to hear him most.... If only it was that simple and distinct to hear.
The truth is, trying to understand what God is speaking to you is really pretty confusing. Many times we leave this conversation only within speaking about Sacramental vocations.... Things such as the priesthood and religious life. However the more daily non-sacramental vocations that we live as the laity seem to need even more guidance when it comes to these things. When you live as a consecrated religious, at the end of the day if your superior says it so then you have a simple answer as to what is the will of God in your life. But when you are a single or married person, trying to engage the culture for Christ each and every day, at work, at school, on the streets, and on the internet filtering through the noise of the world is very difficult.
Don't get me wrong, I am in no way reducing the stresses of religious life at all. I am only speaking to the reality I know as a member of the laity, who lives within this missionary role.
Of course we are told the basics... Have an active prayer life. Receive the sacraments. Read your bible daily. Have a spiritual director. Go through continuous formation. Read the lives of the Saints... And of course all of these help. However, how do you know moments when God is asking you to "Go" or to "Stay".
I post this because not only is it a question I am faced with time and time again by teens, parents, and just people I meet every day - but it is also a crossroad I currently find myself at. (Before moving forward and any assumptions are made; I am not questioning faith or thinking about leaving the church or anything of that sort).
I find myself in a time wondering if I should take new risks, and get uncomfortable once again. Traveling, and external ministry work is growing but at the same time some deep relationships have been built locally and walking alongside young people and their families is where my heart grows in so much more affection for the Lord. Navigating through all of it, and working between conflicting schedules becomes more and more difficult.... Not to mention providing income to support your family. Especially when you yourself are a minority, working mainly in lower income communities it is not as easy as fundraising or crowdfunding a salary.
Yesterday I found myself before the blessed sacrament for almost 3 hours and all I could understand the Lord saying in the depths of my heart was "Do you trust me?".... The easy answers are yes and no, but I don't know if it is that simple. Do I trust that he can see through the battles and politics of local ministry? - yeah of course. Its been frustrating at times, but yeah.... Do I trust that somehow, someway he will continue to provide means for me to provide for my family? - well yeah... it's been hard but he hasn't let us down. Do I trust he is going to open new doors? - yeah.... he continues to do so.
The questions could easily continue, however the specifics of the clear answer I want seems to stay ambiguous(at least with my limited human understanding). Please pray with me, as I continue to trust God will see this all through as he takes me through uncharted waters. I will offer each of these struggles also for you that his will for your life may also become more clear. Amen.
- The Symbol
- All is Love
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