One Does Not Simply Discern a Call

Over the past three years or so I have been discerning a call…well, many calls. I remember having apparently felt that I had it figured out during my sophomore year of college (how convenient!), and then realizing I couldn’t have been more wrong. Well, I could have been more wrong if I had considered being a surgeon or a chemist, but you get the idea. At that point, and even until recently, part of me expected to arrive at a place where I “just knew”- that feeling of certainty that you have figured out the mind of God and what God wants you to do with your life. Or, at least, certain parts of your life.

And yet, what I keep learning over and over and over again is that discernment is a process. You can go through periods of more-certainty, but I don’t think we ever get to a point where there are no doubts in our mind, at least, not if we are honest with ourselves.

That’s where I am now, you see. A Project Connect summer immersion, Bachelors degree in History, year of seminary, and year of international mission service later…and I’m still discerning.

I think/feel/intuit that God is inviting me to a call in public ministry, which right now looks most like that of being an ordained pastor. I say “right now” because over the past year or so I’ve had serious doubts about what exactly God would see as best for me. On this day, at least, I think God would be pretty pleased to have me be a pastor, and I think I would be pretty pleased to serve in that way, too. Where will I be in a few months, years, decades? No idea. All I know is that it will involve serving the Body of Christ in some form.

All this to say, just as Gandalf explained to Frodo the lack of ease it would take to destroy the one Ring that ruled them all, so too it can be said that one does not simply discern a call. For me, I will always see it as “discerning”. Perhaps I will make decisions to pursue one path based on that discerning, but it will never culminate in having wrapped it all up in a nice pretty bow, never will it mean I have “discerned. Full stop.”

That brings us to here. Now. Where are we at? (You do intend to be part of this journey, right?)

My hope is that this blog will offer a small glimpse into how I experience the Divine and the journey that has and continues to take me on. Exploring God, relationships, spirituality, religion, life as I see it. Asking questions. Always discerning.


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