When we feel the need to discern something big—such as our vocation—then ordinarily we need to take our time with it, and there are a number of steps we can follow. Discerning about smaller, daily choices may take merely moments to make. For me, it often takes just a few minutes to do the following:
- an evaluation of the need(s) presented to me
- a short prayer to the Holy Spirit
- an honest glance at my heart, to make sure I’m aware of my desires and to uncover any unconscious “agenda” that may sway me
- a renewal of my deepest desire: to live in union with Christ
- a check-in with my current schedule/responsibilities and, when needed, with a mentor and the people who will be affected by my decision (e.g. the team I’m working with)
- good old common sense
Then, I put all those together and make a decision.
This may seem like a lot of steps for a smaller choice, but they’ve gradually become automatic for me as I’ve grown in the art of discernment, and they help me to pay more attention to seeking God’s will. Becoming proficient in this spiritual art means that seeking God’s will becomes as habitual as breathing.
To Think About
What would be your list of steps for a discernment about a smaller, daily matter? If you can, share them in the comments or via email (and I’ll post them)!