Testing God

Part II of exploring the path of Spiritual Discernment.  How do we determine if our life-decisions are God-directed of Ego/Self-directed?  In a word…..PEACE.

 

 

An invitation to discernment

As I mentioned in Saturday’s blog, I had a money awakening that I now suspect might have  nothing to do with money….and everything to do about being invited into a life-direction that will seriously expand not only the naming and claiming of my gifts, but may be inviting me into stepping more fully into something God(or my ego…we’re not done discerning yet!) has been dangling in my face for YEARS!  This discernment began with fear and was followed by several days of anxiousness, compulsive thinking and “planning.”  “What am I supposed to do with this?”  I wondered.  It finally became clear that maybe the money panic was nothing more than a red flag waving and presenting an opportunity to enter into serious discernment about certain professional/vocational choices.  As such, I am TRYING to remain calm and allow God’s plan to clearly reveal itself.  Ha….easier said than done!

 

Overwhelmed by anxiety

In spite of my best efforts to remain calm, patient,  and surrender to the process of spiritual discernment, I found myself overwhelmed by anxiety.  Money anxiety.  Work anxiety.  Parenting anxiety.  Relationship anxiety….the normal things.  Then of course this anxiety expanded into every aspect of my life:  the over-abundance of weeds in the garden, the grease that needs to be cleaned off the stove hood, windows that need caulking, the shower curtain that is disgusting with mineral deposits and mold.  ARGH!!!!!!   Come on already!  But then something really strange happened this morning during my daily meditation period.  While my brain is flying off into all the directions my anxious thoughts could carry me, it suddenly shifted into thoughts of this “new” opportunity.  My anxiety and restlessness relaxed and my brain became quiet as images, thoughts, processes, structures, presented themselves related to the piece I am currently discerning.  It was as if I was being presented with the foundations and roadmap of what this direction might look like (if I determine it to be authentically God-directed and decide to say “yes” to this path).  And as I sat in meditation and allowed these thoughts and images to present themselves, I found myself falling into a state of deep and peaceful calm, and all the afore-mentioned obsessive worries simply fell away.  HMMMMM…..is this a clue along the discernment path?

God = Peace

St. Paul says it really well when it comes to testing whether something is “of God” or not.  In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul says it this way:  “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  “Freedom” as it is used in the context of discernment means – peace, love, joy, mercy, compassion, expansiveness.  These are the qualities we are invited to look for when scrutinizing opportunities to determine if they are authentically God-driven or instead, something coming out of our own egos or fears.  Peace, I have found, is the final test.  Does a certain path give you peace?  If so, it may be from God.  Now, peace does not mean that we are free of the anxiety that comes out of resistance.  Resistance is the ego fighting against the path of our highest good.  Resistance is the voice within me that offered the initial response to this opportunity of:  “No way.  No how.  You must be nuts!  Pick someone else.  I won’t do it!”  But, when I sit with this morning’s meditation and the deep peace that presented itself in the face of the “foundation and structure” of this possible path, I have no choice but to consider that it may authentically be coming from God and may in truth be the path of my highest good.

 

Fools rush in

And….having made rash decisions in regards to this vocational choice in the past, I know better than to make my decision today.  The good news is that God is patient and that through experience, I know that there is more testing yet to be done.  So, I continue in this path of discernment, open to what God may continue to reveal, placing today’s meditation in the discernment bucket and pray for clarity of discernment and the courage to say “yes” if indeed this proves to be “of God.”

Where have you found freedom (peace, joy, love, expansiveness) in your own journey?

How do you test your life opportunities to determine if they are coming from God or out of your own ego?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

 

2 thoughts on “Testing God

  1. Lauri,

    Funny some of the terms you use for guidance, and your experience, too.

    I have also spent the past weekend in a bit of anxiety. It is familiar. I think of my brain as having three tracks of gerbils in it. When all the gerbils are scampering around at full tilt, it means I have three simultaneous tracks of chaos running at a time. I used to live there.

    This weekend, I had moments of peace from my gerbils, in prayer and meditation…but they just kept coming back. Last night, I gave up (for the moment) and felt that orderly envisioning happen that you also described. O.k., God. Peace is possible for me.

    This morning, as the gerbils were wiping the sleep from their eyes, I turned it over to God again….and again.

    On my drive to work I pass a church. It’s message reads: “You are in the driver’s seat and God holds the map.” I’ve been reading and thinking about this for a while. The real peace I feel is when I realize that I am in the back seat, with my hands on the wheel of the baby seat, honking my little horn, and playing with the turn signals…that are NOT attached to the car. God is driving. He lets me think I am, because it makes me feel better. I just smile and wave, and trust that he’ll get me where I need to go, and I’ll do what I do, what I’m made to do, when I get there.

    I’m still thinking about these conflicting images.

    How much driving does God want me to do? Is that my job? Or just to be humbly my imperfect and authentic self, and bring my gifts to whatever is placed before me?

    Yes, still thinking, praying, waiting. As you say, God is patient. Much more so than I am! Thanks be!

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