Discernment is a good thing!
I’ve been in discernment for the Episcopal priesthood for four years. The initial work was completed three years ago, but snafus and life events delayed the process. Or maybe it was the Divine, because I’m MUCH better prepared to proceed now than I was then.
Recently, we reconvened a small portion of my discernment committee. At their request, I’ve been writing about the past three years – events and studies, soul searches and emotional growth. Man, oh man, this is HARD! After a day of meditation, research and writing, I am exhausted.
But I’m also exhilarated. When we met last Wednesday, I said, “I think you guys should do this, too. It’s very enlightening!”
A new member of the committee, associate rector Shelly Fayette, noted: “In Olympia, we have regular discernment committees. But it’s not just about ordained ministry. One person may be in discernment about whether to change jobs. Another may be in discernment about whether it’s time to move a parent to an assisted living facility. Often, there is someone who is discerning a call to ordained ministry. The committee doesn’t center around one person; it’s a conversation for all.”
I think that’s a brilliant idea. Regardless of our spiritual leanings (or lack thereof) I think we can all benefit from taking time to periodically review where we are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. To choose one item in particular to ponder and to write about. To meet with others for honest questioning and prayerful support.
I’m going to suggest the idea to my church, and I think it would work well in any community. Imagine how much more deeply we can engage our lives if we take time to discern!