God’s Will in Discernment
In many conversations of the spiritual nature, I’ve heard the topic of God’s will. So many times it is a person discerning and they say something like, “I just want to do God’s will, but I don’t know what it is.” What comes next is some conversation about wanting to make the right decision or chose the right thing. It also seems to me there is the expectation that “I have to get it right.” This scenario has bothered me for a long time because it seems to exclude free will, a gift given by God to all humanity.
What I hear is a need to figure out God’s will because if I don’t do whatever I deem to be God’s will, my choice will be wrong. This doesn’t sound free to me. Sometimes I even get the sense that choosing something other than what we believe is God’s will, is actually sinful.
What seems to be lacking in this way of understanding God’s action in our lives, is love. God is love, perfect love, unfailing, unconditional love and no matter our choices, God continues to love us.
As I see it, in life we come to forks in the road where we can choose to go left or right. One path will probably be the better choice, BUT God loves. So this time we choose either right or left. God knows one is the more difficult path for us but loves us continuously. God’s love follows us no matter our choice, sinful or just harder. It is God’s love that helps us in the struggles, as well as, in the joys of our choices.
Ilia Delio, OSF says in her book, ten evenings with God, “The question of God’s will is not one of “should I” or “shouldn’t I” but “am I living freely in love, and is this freedom in love enabling me to live a more godly life?” It is less a question of duty or obligation than attentiveness to a deep inner spirit and commitment to that spirit.”
The next time you are struggling with discernment or you are discussing discernment with another person, remember and speak God’s love because it’s there for us in the process, in the choice and always.
by Peggy Gerovac May 7, 2017