We spend a lot of time talking about discernment in the Young Adult Volunteer program. Discerning whether to spend a year in the program, whether to stay at home or abroad, which vocation will follow your YAV year... it's a word I have become a lot more familiar with since our placement weekend in March.dis-cern [dih-surn, -zurn]verb (used with object)
- to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize or apprehend: They discerned a sail on the horizon.
- to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate: He is incapable of discerning right from wrong.
I was joking with a few members of my congregation that I've been successfully avoiding seminary since graduating with a religion minor 7 years ago. Since admitting this, I've been actively challenged in this avowal - multiple times - from several different places. I was discussing this with my friend, the recently Reverend Alex, and he pointed out that I'm not the only one who has felt like running in the opposite direction of a perceived call. What's up, Jonah?
com-mis-sion [kuh-mish-uhn]verb (used with object)
- to give a commission to: to commission a graduate of a military academy.
- to authorize; send on a mission.
- to give the order that places a warship, military command, etc., in a state of complete readiness for active duty.
- to give a commission or order for: The owners commissioned a painting for the building's lobby.
As my time here is wrapping up, the importance of this decision is becoming clear. Feeling literally carried in love as I begin this journey reminds me so much of my ordination as a ruling elder 3 years ago. I can still feel the waves of warmth and love from those in the congregation who laid hands on our class and prayed for our service. Since that day, I still can't hear the hymn, "Here I am Lord" without choking back a tear. I particularly like the revised version we sing at Second - rather than going if God leads us, we should be open to going where.
Here I am Lord, is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord, where you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.
Daniel L. Schutte (revision in italic)