Yay! Yippee! Yay!
Exciting new things coming for The Way of the River and for YOU!
For the last fifteen years, structured discernment—the art and skill of choosing wisely—has fascinated me. Whether it’s the Quaker practice of finding clearness, the Jesuit processes of formal discernment, secular methods, or systems of divination, I am drawn to this whole topic. In fact, I’m going to be leading a FREE teleclass on discernment on December 4 at 5 pm Pacific/8 pm Eastern US times. To jump to more information about the free teleclass, click here.
I’ve been faced—as have we all—with many significant choices in my life. And many of them have not been between right and wrong, good and bad, good and evil. (Those are the relatively easy choices!) They are choices “among goods”. They are choices where you have to weigh different values and different concerns and eventually come to a decision about which you feel peaceful and free.
The house dilemma
For example, my wife and I were just thinking of buying a house. Our current living situation is fantastic in a lot of ways, but not perfect (as though any house is perfect!), so we started considering where else we might move, what we wanted in a house, and how much we were willing to pay. We knew we wanted to be not too far from Portland, to have a one-story house, and not to be “house poor”.
So we began some discernment around all of that. For example, we moved forward with the idea that we were going to move, and we attended to what that felt like inside us.
But then we realized that there were factors we weren’t taking into our account. Our energy. The last few years of transition in our life. And what it would take for us to move. How we might reorganize our space to solve some of the difficulties we were facing…
And we entered into deeper discernment. We went forward as though we weren’t going to move, as though we had made another decision, the decision not to move.
#1 Sign of a well-discerned choice
It was after that time that we came to the #1 sign of a well-discerned decision: Inner peace.
I’ll be writing more about this—about how settled peace and community confirmation are the signs of a well-made choice.
So we came to the place where we realized that we don’t want to move if we don’t have to. We want to stay where we are and enjoy the city we live in and get a little settled in our businesses, ministry, and lives before we move on.
Obviously, deciding whether or not to move is just one of an infinite number of decisions we face in this life. There are so many places where formal, structured discernment can help us choose wisely, especially when life feels chaotic, stressful, or rushed.
I’m going to share lots more about this on our free teleclass, December 4, 2014 at 5 pm Pacific/8 pm Eastern US. Lots more. In the 90 minutes we’ll share together, we’ll talk about where discernment can help and some examples of where discernment can be a lifesaver for you. We’ll dig deep into one particular part of a discernment process, and we’ll talk some about others. Finally, we’ll look at confirmation of a good decision, including learning to recognize that peace I was talking about.
Interested? Go here both for more information and to join us on the free discernment call of December 4th. Even if you can’t attend that evening, sign up to receive a recording of the call and get the goodness that way! Can’t wait to see you!