“If ye have judged me to be faithful.”
We’re heading into our third week of the “Living a Rhythmed Life” series, and this week will be a return to the practical. We’re going to answer a few more questions about our lives and then turn to our trees of discernment to begin making decisions.
The first question I want you to consider, then, is:
Do you have a sense of call?
This may not seem like a practical question, but I promise that it is. A sense of call impacts the decisions we make about our life’s rhythm. For instance, I’ve had a sense of call significantly impact the practical details of my daily life at least 3 times in the last 3 years.
I’m going to share those 3 instances with you here.
The first time was in 2009, when I created that very first discernment tree I shared with you during a particularly overwhelming season of my life. At the time, when I stopped to think about it, I had a very clear sense of the direction my life was headed. I had received a call to ministry in 2007-2008, and so I was completing graduate work in spiritual formation and training as a spiritual director as a result.
I didn’t necessarily know what that calling to ministry meant or what it would look like or where it would lead, but I knew that it was a calling I needed to respond to and follow. Additionally, over the previous year I’d become significantly moved in the direction and study of nonviolence. The subject and its practical implications in our own hearts and lives had an inordinate occupation in my heart and mind.
And so, consequently, I knew that my schooling and training needed to take priority over other things in the sorting out of that very tumultuous time of 2009, and I knew that the ongoing invitation to the study and consideration of peace and nonviolence needed to stay in my life.
I couldn’t turn away from these things. Other things would have to go.
The knowledge of this impacted the way I made decisions after drawing my tree of discernment.
Another sense of call came when I graduated both study and training programs in 2011.
I had spent some time discerning with a few key people in my life in the months leading up to the completion of both programs about a specific call to serve in online spaces.
These mentors in my life had noticed with me that most of my spiritual direction clients had come to me over the years in long-distance contexts, with many of the directees coming to know me first through my blogs. I had completed my spiritual formation training in an online cohort context, so doing the work of spiritual formation online was not new to me. I was very comfortable with it. And, to top it all off, I had just finished my master’s thesis proposal on the intersection of digital connectivity and spirituality, and through the research process had developed some very clear ideas about what is needed for us to tune into our spiritual lives amidst all the noise and stimulation and distractions of our increasingly connected online lives.
The online medium had become, surprisingly, a space for me to exercise my call.
And so, as a result, I decided to commit, first of all, to this online space of Still Forming. I began writing here five days a week. (And just recently, I celebrated a year of faithfulness in this space.)
More recently, God has been bringing even more refinement to my calling.
I’ve come to see in recent months that my work is that of creating spaces for people to reflect on their lives with God. Still Forming is that kind of space. The Cup of Sunday Quiet is that kind of space. The Look at Jesus course is that kind of space. And the spiritual direction I offer to people is that kind of sacred space, too.
This refinement of calling has required even more decisions that affect my daily rhythm. I recently made the decision to close down two personal blogs I’ve kept for quite some time. I’ve also had to turn down or adjust my involvement in certain opportunities based on the way they fit or don’t fit into that clear sense of call.
It’s about letting the call get my yes — and adjusting my daily rhythm to support the continued creation of those sacred spaces.
A sense of call impacts our rhythm.
Do you have a sense of call at this point in your journey?