discernment

Someone once told me that figuring out God’s will isn’t like trying to walk a tightrope. I’m sure that’s true–but sometimes it’s hard to believe.

I’ve been reading a good book on discernment: Gordon T. Smith’s Listening to God in Times of Choice: The Art of Discerning God’s Will.

He talks about two “schools of thought” on discernment: the blueprint school and the wisdom school. The blueprint school argues that God has one perfect plan, so discernment means: figure out this one plan and follow it. (I suppose this goes along with the tightrope imagery.) The wisdom school arose in response to the blueprint school, and argues that since God has made his moral will clear in the Scriptures, that we are to make decisions based on the wisdom he has already communicated to us (or will communicate to us through the Holy Spirit). Then Smith argues that discernment is a combination of elements from these two schools, as well as other elements such as examining our emotions and motives, free will, etc.

Anyway, so I’ve been weighing these two options for graduate school, and my tendency towards perfectionism is totally getting in the way. Both options involve risk and uncertainty, and possible changes in my job, community, where I live, and my relationship with my s/o. I am so afraid that I’m going to choose the wrong option and mess things up, so I just keep mulling over every possible outcome. Instead of finding joy in the fact that I have options, I’m finding great fear in navigating this whole decision process. Instead of trusting that God will take care of me (which I know deep down he will, but I’m such a worry-wart that it’s easy to forget), I’m allowing myself to be consumed by potential failure. I suppose there’s a part of me that hasn’t quite owned up to being an adult– and part of being an adult means making choices based on limited information (because you can never know the whole picture about any situation before it happens!) and taking responsibility for the consequences.

Speaking of adulthood… it’s crazy thinking about how immature my generation is. When my mom was 25, she already had a 3 year old. (Yes, that would’ve been me ;) )

From Proverbs 3: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

The problem (or maybe the solution?) is that I can acknowledge him in either situation.

One Response

  1. Hey victoria, I saw that Joe is going with you to see a play. Did that require you to watch more Battlestar gallatica? I know mei-ye watches me play basketball, and I’m not a very well polished player. I was wondering if you knew any afforable good plays I could take mei-ye to.
    As far as your entry, I remember a bible study, and the conclusion was its not that important what you do, as much as how you do it. I guess its hard to think about what to do, but its easy to think about how we do things. Thats just my two cents. And by the way, I think you guys sound better and better each week

    garrett - June 3rd, 2008 at 10:29 am

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