A Pause to Discern


Discernment is this week’s “D” word. As a dictionaried noun it means an ability to judge well. From a Christian context, it is a perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding. Actually, discernment is beyond religion; all of us empower each other when we choose to be discerning, choosing to discover what is our highest and best way of being, doing and having.
The verb discern means to perceive, recognize or distinguish an object, person or issue using faculties that require intentional practice, concerted deciphering, and perhaps, some difficulty. Discerning, and all aspects of this word require thought, effort, openness, intention, vision, questioning, maybe some charting and graphs, and most likely, the addition of prayer and grace.
Life’s most ardent pursuits can be travelled with no thought, all thought or hit and miss efforts. The marriage of thought, effort, heart, and passion are led by one of my favorite guides: discernment. The question, “What is for the highest good in this situation?” is a grounding question for the ever-present quandary of who I am, what I want, and what is my dharma. It also works for every other question that guides my best self’s reckoning for how to be contributing, responsible, committed and authentic in my creation for the highest good in my every intentional aspiration and action.
To choose discernment as a preferred manner of navigating life is a conscious choice to slow down, be present, let go, and breathe. Discernment is a great tool of discovery and becoming. It may be subjective, but as a constant and ongoing process, it evolves as I do.
Thank you, God, for the ability to discern what works best for me and my experience of life in this world. Thank you, too, for the ability to change my mind, my heart, and surrender my need to be right, in control, to judge with subjective filters. Help me continue to recognize we’re all in this life together, all of us walking each other home.


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