Recently, I participated in a workshop online that started with an icebreaker that took us to a virtual “escape room.” The name of this game may sound scary, but it is a fun game if you like brain games. During the game, the brain is put to a good workout – looking for clues, decoding puzzles, solving word problems, and even trying to read between the lines of a word problem.
Before playing the game, I wondered how this game was supposed to help us strengthen the various skills we each were working on. However, I learned that the virtual escape room game was just the right fit for our workshop. This game required us to discern solutions together by listening to one another’s perspectives and findings, by having to voice each new clue or key information, and by using other compassionate communication skills (i.e. encouraging one another, cheering on the team, and staying positive – negative thoughts would have just hurt the progress.) This game offered plenty of opportunities for practicing other skills, such as staying open to others’ perspectives and having a limited time to respond helped us practice how we should not overthink the challenges.
How does all this resonate with one’s discernment? In the game, players look for clues and they do it by helping one another. Similarly, when someone is discerning religious life, IT IS A JOURNEY THAT NO ONE TAKES ALONE. We recommend talking to someone you trust, as well as working with a spiritual director and a vocation minister. You may also want to consider participating in our discernment group or our prayer group, with other women who are discerning their call to religious life. In addition, you can always count on our prayers.
Participating in the game, we could not get fixated on just one detail – similarly, when discerning religious life, we try to DISCERN FROM VARIOUS PERSPECTIVES. During the game, we shared and received insights about the things that were being discovered. During discernment, we, too, RECEIVE INPUTS AND SHARE INSIGHTS through sharing faith with one another, and through gaining insights that others may notice, but that we haven’t noticed yet. In the game, we had several “ah-ha” moments and each of those moments helped us gain clarity, which resonates with the discernment process: through PRAYER, we may experience “AH-HA” MOMENTS and AFFIRMATION, which can help us GAIN a deeper CLARITY about our vocation.
TEST IT OUT. After finding a solution in the game, we put it to the test by typing in the answer in the computer or by turning the numbers on a lock. Similar to discernment, when praying with the thoughts of discerning a life of prayer that is lived in a community, we recommend you give religious life a try to see what it feels like.
Last but not least… another element that I think resonates with discerning a call to religious life is BEING IN SYNC. When playing the game, players need to be in sync with each other because syncing ensures accuracy. We can discern our vocation more accurately, if not only our heart and mind are in sync, but also if our heart is in sync with the religious community’s charism, mission, and life in community, and ultimately and most importantly, if our heart is in sync with God. Being in TOTAL SYNC WITH GOD requires us to BE ATTENTIVE, to LISTEN, to TRUST, to be OPEN to where God guides us, and accepting that everything happens in GOD’S TIME.
If you are discerning God’s call to religious life, remember, you don’t need to walk this journey alone. We are here to walk with you. Click here to contact us.