18 May 2008

Testing Leadings

I'm going to lift up something that Richard wrote in a comment to my post before last:

At this point it's good to look outside yourself for signs to help you discern. When you mention the possibility of doing this to weighty Friends what is there reaction? Do they caution you to reflect more deeply on it or do they brighten at the thought of you doing this? Have you detected any signs of Way opening for this project? For example did some other responsibility that was taking up some of your time and energy suddenly lifted from your shoulders to make space for the new project? Did something or someone that would help you with the project suddenly appear in your life unexpectedly?

If weighty Friends do not discourage this and if signs of Way opening appear, then don't hold back from following the leading just because you think you might like it!

Sometimes I feel like a blind person tapping in front of me with my white cane, trying to discern my next step. Part of my leading has been to take the next step and trust that God will continue to guide my feet. I can't see the end of the path from here.

It's good to be reminded to check in with weighty Friends and spiritual buddies about our leadings. My Friends did, somewhat to my amazement, respond very enthusiastically to my leading and encourage me to relax and enjoy it. It is a little like working with the children during our Meeting retreat. I might have felt like I was goofing off and having a good time, but the Meeting appreciated the work I was doing anyway.

I also continued to pray about the leading, continually, and to wait for confirmation before taking each step. This is not something I always do, and I think I sometimes might have a tendency or out-run my Inner Guide. Part of my discipline in this event, however, has been to go no further than guided by Spirit.

I am forced to admit that God was right again. There were times along the way that weren't as easy and pleasant as I anticipated, and events took a few twists and turns that underscored the wisdom of my care and attention to this seemingly simple and pleasant activity. I needed my Guide on this trip, and I needed to be on the trip to do work that needs to be done.

And perhaps I also needed to know that sometimes God calls us to go with our strengths, to refresh our spirits, and to do what we love.


RichardM said...


I'm glad you got confirmation of your leading and have been going with it. By nature I am a person who makes long-range plans and sticks to them. This has worked out well for me in practical matters, but when it comes to leadings I often feel as you do that I am just putting one foot in front of the other on a dark path with only sufficient Light to see the next step. Faith sometimes requires us to just simply obey without understanding what exactly it is we are doing. I'm glad that the leading has been fun so far. By coincidence I've been lead into a new endeavor that is turning out to be fun for me and I also cannot predict how it will turn out. It's one of those things that might just be fun to do for about a month or so and then fade away or it might grow into a very big project that will take years to complete. I don't know but I am clear that I should be taking the steps I'm taking now. It's OK to let God drive.

Sheryl Karas said...

Thank you for your posts on radical faith. My partner Paul and I feel called to live by radical faith right now. It's both incredibly freeing or terribly frightening depending on whether I've fallen into fear again or whether I've surrendered and handed the job to God once more. I typed "How to live by radical faith" and your blog came up. I was shocked to see that you live near Santa Cruz because that's where we live, too! Made me feel even more guided. I'd like to read more! Thank you.