To distinguish or recognise the difference between competing options is a lifelong quest that involves making choices and decisions that define certain outcomes.
Discernment is the delicate art of sifting through all of the the possible alternatives that arrive on our doorstep, the somewhat slow and arduous task of analysis that can often be a long drawn out process that requires more than one voice of reason and wisdom. Our ability to choose can often be held ransom by fateful experiences that appear out of nowhere, completely overwhelming our sensibilities by over-complicating the situation.
As my life unfolds I have come to realise that as a somewhat responsible citizen I am not dictating the outcomes alone, but that there is a greater force at work behind the scenes testing my resolve and willingness to submit to some kind of providential grace. This mystery energises my inquisitive interest and commitment to a destiny or purpose that is hard wired into my genes.
Discernment understands the tension of balancing a tentative acknowledgement of the known and unknown as they challenge for our attention and intentional response. Reason and wisdom often arbitrate on our behalf endeavouring to minimise the damage that our irrational and impulsive reactions can cause.
In times of uncertainty our instinctive primal self can often revert to an apprehensive over load of anxious thought that can so easily misjudge and misread the setting giving way to confusion and conflictive over- reactions. The heart of discernment knows this and attempts to help us recline back into the deep inner sanctum of contemplation and rest that regulates and guardians our soul.
In order for discernment to do her best work in our lives we must learn how to let wisdom unravel the various alternatives that appear on the scene, s-l-o-w-l-y processing life from an unhurried place. What we often feel needs our immediate attention can be a smoke screen, a distracting ruse that is disguising a deeper purpose of recalibration that needs some extended time in order to assist in our maturation.
I've written to warn you about those who are trying to deceive you. But they're no match for what is embedded deeply within you—Christ's anointing, no less! You don't need any of their so-called teaching. Christ's anointing teaches you the truth on everything you need to know about yourself and him, uncontaminated by a single lie. Live deeply in what you were taught. - St John
At the heart of our discernment development is the need to listen to the voice of purpose that resides within. The ancient poets believed that there is an ‘abiding divine presence’ in all of us, the christ mystery, a hum of reverence that needs to be acknowledged and articulated if we are to fully comprehend the complexities of our mortal and immortal selves. While external wisdom is absolutely crucial and cannot be substituted by a wilful independence and arrogance we must all ultimately learn to trust our conscience and intuition if we are to be fully self aware and self sufficient.
Discernment is an innate fixture in our makeup, a catalyst that is working to help us become who we already are. Listen and lean into her promptings.