Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Discerning God's Will

It seems ironic, cruel almost, that the times when I feel most stressed and overwhelmed, when I am forced by circumstance and necessity to make potentially life-altering decisions, these are the very times when I feel the most distant and removed from God. As I've said many times before--when I don't feel close to God, I know it is me who has drifted, that God is consistent and remains waiting and this, I am sure, is certainly true for me right now. I have a series of Very Important Decisions to make very soon which will impact my life and the lives of my children for years to come. These are the kind of decisions best made with deep discernment and the loving and intimate guidance of God and yet, The Chihuahua in my brain is yapping so loudly that I can't begin to discern much of anything beyond "children hungry...prepare food". I'm guessing this is when community needs to come into the picture. I think I need to pull one or two groups of friends and Friends around me to listen to me, help me identify my options and find clarity and direction. And yet, even this seems a daunting task.

Life feels like a row of dominoes right now. Everything is contingent on everything else and it's all lined up so that one move in any direction will set off movement in all directions. How do I plan for all those directions at once when I don't have any clear understanding of how the dominoes all fit together nor the potential repercussions of their falling this way or that?

Making decisions out of fear or pressure is never a good thing and yet decisions must be made, some of them quickly.

I will soon be in a position to reinvent my life and to make it as I want it to be (be careful what you wish for). I've done a lot of exploring of what I want but how can I know if this is truly how God is calling me? It's really easy to convince myself that my will and God's will for me are aligned. How do I discern what is NOT ego when The Chihuahua is so convincing? And honestly, it's not like my wants are not very simple so it would be easy to believe that what I want is aligned with what God wants for me. I mean, if I began thinking I need to indulge in "retail therapy" and get my belly-button pierces (eeewww!) it might seem obvious that I'm not really heeding God's will for me. However, I'm not a person overly enamoured of a lot of our cultural trappings so I can really struggle with how much of what I think God's calling me to do is actually about me, me, me.

This is what I think I know to be true:
  • I am being called to live car-free. I feel, and have felt for 3+ years, a strong need to live as close to earth as possible. For me, this means to not own a car but to scoot, walk, bus and (eventually--after I, like, learn to ride one again after having not done so for HALF my life), ride a bike everywhere I need and want to go.
  • I think I am being called to live more immediately in community, and more directly engaged and involved with others.
  • I am pretty darn sure I'm being called to simplify my work obligations which sort of seems easy (just quit!) except for the fact that income is directly tied to work and, um, money is a necessity in this world.
  • I know I'm called to live with more awareness of how my actions impact others and the world around us. This would include buying locally grown food as often as is possible/practical, cooking from scratch more, far less "canned" entertainment, hanging laundry out to dry & etc.
  • I know I'm being called to closer communion with Spirit with a more consistent prayer life and by engaging in a variety of forms of worship with a broader and more diverse group of people.

What I don't know is anything else. Many decisions could facilitate some of the above things; few would accommodate all. What are the options? What are the implications for each of those? How would each impact each of my children today and in 5 years? What's best, what's good & what's neutral? And where is God in each? How do I submit myself to God's will for me when I'm so unsure what that is?

1 comment:

Hollow Bone Dream said...

I sit and think about what we have changed in our family's life in the past 2 years..
It seems like a lot but it doesn't seem to be enough..
We've changed everything from the way we watch T.V. to the way we shop and how we shop..
Reusable bags
I make my own laundry soap..
Make my own yogurt from what I call "happy cow" milk lol
We don't use paper towels.. I didn't think we could so that one but its worked out well.
small garden
water barrel ..
Watch very little TV
My Sat. mornings start out at Kroger shopping what I call the "middle aisles" for basic pantry stuff..
Then for the rest of the stuff to the Famer Mkt.
Maybe to Costco..
We eat a lot less meat now days .
There's a host of other little things.
One of the reasons why I started doing this is to be closer in step w/ taking care of the Earth.. There is only one Earth.. and yes she is our Mother in the sense she feeds us,clothes us,shelters us.. and we should honor Spirit/Creator's gift..

Its for the grandkids when they come along, for their kids.. and every child on this planet..
We owe it to them not to screw things up ...
Another reason is I think its right thing to do
Its what Spirit/Creator has places in my heart to do.
The work of taking care of ourselves,our family,our community our planet is in our hands and in action..I feel that's how the Creator set it up to be..

There's 100 other reasons too.. but I'm rambling lol..