I was walking with an older friend in the park the other morning – she is a cool, funky grandmother and is always filled with practical advice and spiritual wisdom. We were catching up on the challenges we were currently dealing with in our very different lives, including how to discern God’s will in different seasons. (Clearly I had already had coffee to tackle this topic first thing in the morning.) She mentioned that God’s will is often right in front of us, if we would only see and recognize it. I was describing what I thought I was being called to do, and she suggested that it actually might be more simple, and maybe less daunting. She said that at one point she was feeling frustrated that she was cleaning countertops, doing laundry and spending time stuck on the phone with AT&T customer service reps. But it then occurred to her that this was God’s will for her at this moment in time – she recognized she was being called to care for her husband and her grandchildren.
She mentioned a Jesuit priest who spent 23 years in Soviet prisons and labor camps in Siberia (clearly a tougher gig than doing laundry).
“The answer lies in understanding that it is these things – and these things alone, here and now, at this moment – that truly constitute the will of God. The challenge lies in learning to accept this truth and act upon it, every moment of every day. The trouble is that like all great truths it seems too simple. It is there before our noses all the time, while we look elsewhere for subtle answers. It bears the hallmark of all divine truths, simplicity, and yet it is precisely because it seems so simple that we are prone to overlook it or ignore it in our daily lives.”
He Leadeth Me, By Father Walter J. Ciszek, S.J. (www.silentinsight.com)
So maybe you are being called to care for an elderly parent, a friend with cancer, a troubled child, a cranky teenager. Maybe you are called to step out of your comfort zone and volunteer with a friend, or attend a retreat. Maybe you are called to focus more on your marriage or reach out to a lonely family member or co-worker. Maybe you are called to make that phone call to a sibling who you would rather not speak with. It may not be solving world peace, hunger or global warming, but it is something that is in front of us, if we would just recognize it as God’s call in our simple, daily lives.
Heavenly Father, help me to discern your will for my life in the here and now. Help me to recognize your will in the smallest moments of my day. Help me to see the simple ways that I can live my life for you in whatever you put before me. Help me to take advantage of the both the big and small moments to work for Your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28