Sometimes when we are driving on the highway, we may see the speed limit at 70, then 65, or it may go down to 55 and then go up again to 70 or even 75. We try to pay attention to the speed limit and adjust our push on the pedal accordingly. We trust the traffic control engineers who set these speeds, believing that the limit specified helps us drive safely.
The discernment process can be similar to what we experience with speed limits on the highway. Sometimes, discernment can be at a fast pace, but sometimes, discernment suddenly moves to a slower pace, requiring patience and attention. When the pace increases, we may have to push the pedal a little stronger to catch up to the new speed, exerting more effort to get to our destination. Other times, we may feel like we are crawling at such a slow pace that we may never reach where we want to be.
Whatever the pace, we need to keep our eyes on the road, adjusting our vision to follow wherever the path leads or takes us. Sometimes we will encounter curves along the way and be forced to maneuver around unforeseen happenings. In these cases, it is important to be patient, flexible, and focused, and not be distracted from where we are being called and how we are being asked to follow God’s call.
During the discernment process, we may also experience various degrees of intensity. Sometimes, the call can be very strong, and sometimes, the call can be less intense, but still needs attention. No matter what the degree of intensity we experience when we know God is calling us, one thing is certain, God often shows us signs. We will see the signs if we are attentive to how God speaks to us.
We also need to remember that God is in the driver’s seat and just as we trust the traffic control engineer in setting appropriate speed limits, we need to trust that God’s hand is on the steering wheel directing our path.
Discerning God’s call requires attention, trust, action, patience, flexibility, and effort. You may feel overwhelmed and uncertain as you engage in the discernment process. But, remember you are not alone in this process. God is always with you and there are many Saints and sisters who have responded to God’s call who you can ask for help on the journey
We’re here to guide and companion you in your discernment process. We invite you to visit our vocation website, contact us, or register for our hybrid Come and See Discernment retreat on September 23-25 in Akron, OH.