This morning one of my directees let me know that she needed to stop meeting for a season. This makes me sad but it also makes me immediately second guess the focus I’ve felt called to place on spiritual direction in my life right now. On the other hand, this week I’ve set up an appointment with someone else who is coming to spiritual direction for the first time. Of course, this made me feel focused and affirmed!
Sometimes discernment in our lives is easy. Everything seems to line up and there is a clear and straight path forward. The call we sense from God lines up with the circumstances and situations of our life and we walk forward confident of what God is doing. More often–and perhaps especially as we get older–life does not fall so neatly into place. Our path seems to meander like an old river, doubling back on itself, flowing sluggishly and silting up. Our perceived call from God seems more nebulous, fuzzy or impossible to carry out in our current circumstances. We may struggle or doubt.
At times like this I begin to pour over my life’s events, looking for a pattern as if I’m reading tea leaves in a cup, finding here, a dog, there, a banana, wondering what these things have to do with each other, spending too much time and energy trying to figure it out. The dog and banana may have something to do with each other, they may not. The answer is not in the tea leaves or the teacup. The answer lies with the Living God, whose plan is greater than the tea leaves, the teacup, me and the entire universe, yet includes all of those things. When my micro perspective is not helpful, I need to ask God for his perspective. I might not get it! But at the very least I should be able to rest in the knowledge that he is in control. If I cannot do that, then maybe I’ve got hold of the wrong teacup.
Yesterday I was affirmed by two different people in two different ways that I am a good writer and that they find this blog helpful. Those comments fly in the face of my site traffic, which has been lousy lately. Yet there is something here that God is affirming and since I felt called to blog, I will continue to blog. I might blog less this summer, but I am encouraged and have gained a bit of God’s perspective through the help of other believers.
Lord God, help me to stop reading assumptions into my own circumstances and instead seek you for the meaning and affirmation for those circumstances. Let my heart find its encouragement in your everlasting love. Amen.