Ministry Musings: Macro Discernment

I have found it helpful to think of discernment in terms of its macro aspect and its micro aspect.  Today, we look at the macro dimension.

The macro aspect means discernment in relation to our life purpose—our calling.  We live “vocationally.”  The meaning of the word itself let us know that an Other is speaking, and our fundamental disposition is to listen.  God’s Spirit is bearing witness with our spirit, and as we pay attention, we find a sense of meaning in what we do.

This hopefully includes our work, but almost always it is more than our job.  We find our life purpose as we connect with the thing we look forward to doing most—the thing we do that makes “time stand still.”  I read recently about a mentally challenged person who simply loved to keep a filing cabinet organized in the office.  She was really good at it!  Doing it gave her great joy.

What gives you joy?  It may be an overarching thing, or it may be expressed through multiple avenues.  What do you feel like you could do all day long?

Chances are, when you feel this way, you are experiencing macro discernment.  You are finding your life’s purpose, and as you live out of the sense of that, you will find all the motivation you need to “work hard” at what ever it is.  You will find what you do energizing, not draining.

Discernment begins in discovering the macro aspect.  It’s like the canvas onto which we will then add colors and contours that finally end up being our life’s painting.

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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