Saturday, January 11, 2014


dis·cern·ment (noun)

1. the ability to judge well.

2. (in Christian contexts) perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding.  Google

The two are related, aren’t they?  For the Christian seeking God’s will in any given situation, one must be able to judge well (even in the absence of judgment) whether the understanding and direction received or indicated is, in fact, that of God.

Here, I do not mean so much God versus evil, however we may name it, so much as God’s direction and guiding versus my own inclinations, so easily substituted for God’s voice in my head.

When an idea percolates within me, is it God?  Or is it me?  The me idea isn’t necessarily bad, but it isn’t necessarily of God either.

It’s the distinction between the good and the best.

And given the dearth of burning-bush moments in my own life, it’s not always as easy to tell as one might think.

The journey towards discernment, at least for me, is a delicate thing.  It takes patience.  And time, so much time that the pace of the snail seems warp speed in comparison.

Until, that is, the clarity arrives.  When it does, suddenly there is no time; there is only moving forward along the path that in hindsight appears to have been there all along.

Between the two poles of waiting and acting, there, in that space, prayer is the only effective language I know.

Lord, in this precipice moment, one of perhaps so many before, or maybe it’s a new one – whichever, Lord, grant me the understanding You would have for me, the judgment to distinguish Your voice from so many others, including my own.  Help me in the not judging place to judge well.  Amen.

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