Discernment is this series of steps that themselves seem daunting: making observations in the pause of realization; naming or voicing your aims or even worries; praying and meditating over these; taking some kind of action. Sometimes just taking one step is the biggest reward, and that’s been true for me: it has taken me 10 months to birth the pause. I wanted to jump for joy when I realized it—that I can see and not blow past significant and insignificant realizations and draw the connections to what I seek from them. I have found that when I can observe—when I can stay in observational mode in any crisis or even internally, looking at myself—I am at my best. I so cherish this discovery (or perhaps rediscovery) and will aim to ruminate a bit on it here in my summer blog. Now that the season has changed and I have in essence dropped my job, I suddenly have the gift of time, another thing precious to me. Who knew the both would come together so fortuitously?
There are elements of childhood coming back to me—and perhaps for you too, dear reader—that late spring and early summer bring out. Smells and feelings and stuff my daughter asks me as school draws to a close (it’s clear she has grown exponentially) and the feeling of play all well up in me a little reservoir for observation and pause. Start there, its says: here’s a pile of good gifts for your consideration. And maybe that could be your starting point, too. You wouldn’t have to start with the pains or struggles of your life, but instead approach them via the angles of your reality, of how you came to be in this moment as you read, of what led you to this spot, physical and spiritual. That’s the very nature of discernment in any situation, whether you’re making a big life decision or simply trying to manage a small and everyday kind of decision, the kind which impacts state of mind more than, say, the state of your wallet or house or something physical. There’s a great value in even the smallest of progress, and I guess what I’m saying is that the pause you take once your realize it is worth it alone, an ultimate offering from God our Creator. Take this discovery and hold it in your hands for awhile—the world with all its sham will always be unfolding out there, but you are a child of God, your time here itself important, and this pause will change you in unexpected ways.