What Is Discernment?

Discernment is a term used in Christian tradition to describe the process of discerning God's will for one's life. -Wikipedia

Discernment is the intentional practice by which a community or an individual seeks, recognizes, and intentionally takes part in the activity of God in concrete situations. - Practicing Our Faith

Discernment is the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure. - Dictionary.com

The past few months, I've read many interpretations of what it means to discern. Each definition appears so simple, but yet none fully explain the fullness of what it means. Someone was nice enough to pass along their interpretation:

"Discernment is being open to the questions that God asks you. You don't know the question as well as you don't know the answers until they come across you in life. Discernment is about welcoming those things. Vocation is the destination point of those questions. Vocation is not somewhere you can take yourself. It is where God takes you with him. You will never have a choice in this or make a decision on it. "

Honestly, there are times I feel as if I don't know what I'm doing. I feel lost, I feel like I don't know if I'm approaching my vocation with the proper way. Sometimes I feel this is just another page of my life story. I'll look back and read: "...Chapter 6 is where I moved in with my girlfriend, Chapter 7 is where I felt I was being called to the priesthood, Chapter 8 is where I tried to make a living as a professional poker player, Chapter 9 is when I moved to Wyoming to live on a ranch..."

I want this all to mean something, yet part of me feels like it's already slipping away. Part of me wants to tell myself "OK, the charade's over! Just admit you wanted an excuse to get out of that relationship, and go on being the normal guy that you are!"

Part of me thinks that I'm stringing my family, my friends, and myself along about really seeking a vocation. Doubt...oh how it makes the stoutest man

If you want to know what discernment is, Discernment is about finding the right path among many many others, and following it the best you can. Discernment is about listening to the right spirits that guide you, and ignoring the other spirits that will try to lead you astray.

Discernment is about following your call to God and your desire to serve, and trusting that your life will be fulfilled. For me, Discernment is about hope and faith that God will take these fears and worries away.

"...doubt: proof that faith exists." Robert Browning

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