All year, I’ve had a number of ideas flowing in and out of my brain. Some ideas I’ve been able to take some action on. Others, I just keep thinking about. Since I can’t shake some of these ideas, it makes me wonder if I should be acting on them.
But the fact remains that there are only 24 hours in a day, and there are only so many things I can accomplish in those 24 hours.
If I want to flesh out some of these ideas into reality, I’ve got to give up on others.
But Which Ones?
With New Year’s upon us, I spent more time than usual this December mulling over which plans may be the best use of my time, and which need to be shelved away until another season of life.
I’m coming up blank.
Then, through the magic of facebook–three separate sources, three unconnected women, all of whom I admire–posted three different rubrics for discerning God’s will in our lives.
It’s not often that one gets that kind of confirmation that a decision needs to be made. It’s time to stop mulling, and start doing.
- Ginny Kochis at notsoformulaic.com wrote a Guide to Discernment for Catholic Women.
- In response to a group discussion, my friend Delight posted 7 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice.
- A college friend asked for volunteers to join her in a clearness committee for some decisions she was facing. Having never heard of a clearness committee, I was intrigued, and the questions listed in their guidelines got me thinking.
But, consider as I may, clearness was not coming, God’s voice was silent, and discernment was as elusive as it had ever been.
Blindsided by the Obvious
Over Christmas, I re-read The Divine Dance by Richard Rohr. (For the third time . . . since August. My mind is still being blown. If you’re the slightest bit interested in relating to God, understanding the Trinity, Christian spirituality, read this book! It is fantastic in both its simplicity and its depth.)
As Fr. Richard was talking about being in relationship and vulnerability (in contrast to being closed off to others and God), he said, “as long as you show up, the Spirit will keep working.”
It hit me–I’m overthinking this.
Of all the ideas bouncing around in my head, there isn’t necessarily ONE that is the Will of God. They may ALL be good ideas. Creating things? That’s the work of the Holy Spirit. Connecting with people? That’s also the work of the Holy Spirit. Teaching and writing and discussing? You got it–the work of the Holy Spirit (if done to further relationship and relatedness, of course).
So pretty much, as long as I’m not destroying things, or tearing down people, I’m doing God’s will!
Can it really be that simple?
Yep, it probably is.
Not That Complicated
This got me thinking back to college and that decade of my twenties when life was overwhelming with its possibilities. Like many, I really wanted to know what God’s will for my life was. One of the few verses I had memorized then was the far-too-popular Jeremiah 29:11,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
However, it might just be that as long as we’re cool with whatever God may have planned, He may be equally on board with our plans.
In fact, that goes along with the whole dance idea that Richard Rohr describes. “As long as you show up, the Spirit will keep working.”
I’m open to God’s plans, he’s open to my ideas . . . that’s how things get done! Life isn’t static. It keeps moving. We keep changing, we keep growing.
We see how God’s will changes in our lives.
If we’re open to it.
And how our lives change with God’s will.
God’s will in my life isn’t going to look exactly like God’s will in someone else’s life. But that doesn’t make it any less God’s will.
So maybe it’s time to kick it up a notch and see what that looks like!