Monday, November 01, 2010

Spiritual discernment? Or just restlessness?

Having recently lost two friends from my parish to another church, I can't help but wondering whether the attempt to pray, to determine what God is calling you to do, might not hide within it a great danger, the seduction of wanting God to call you away from where you are.

Let me give an example. Say I am an ordinary believer in a church. To go about the ordinary business of being a Christian is often very dry, requiring one to maintain faith even when it doesn't seem as if there are any concrete results. This is the usual state of life for most of us. But when confronted with the slow martyrdom of an ordinary life, we get bored. We lose heart. Here is where the temptation comes: What if God is calling me to change? To find a better church? Now I become important, someone who matters. Maybe God is not calling me to change, but to endure. But enduring is boring! It is seductive to consider oneself part of a grand plan that will bear visible earthly results.

The still small voice of God might be saying "Stay right where you are."


priest's wife said...

Americans tend to be very restless- we have no roots. We lost about 80% of our small mission this summer- due to moving for jobs, but mostly, it is just easier to be anonymous in an RC NO church. Peruse my blog for some of the sad particulars

Denver said...

Another blogger some time ago (possibly Dr. Riddle in 2002, but I could be wrong) mentioned how we can envy other people's crosses as we resist our own, even though we are called to take up our own crosses, not someone else's. He was right, of course.