Saturday, March 3, 2012

I beg have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them, and the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Back in high school, I loved going to the bookstore (heck, I still love going to the bookstore) and looking through novels in Spanish. I would flip through them, see the letters jumbled in an order I didn't understand with their mix of accents and tildes and think to myself "One day, I'm going to be able to read this. And without a dictionary" I was only in my second, third or fourth year of taking Spanish, but I had the die-hard ambition of reading those novels but I knew I couldn't just pick it up and read. I would be looking up every other word in the dictionary, mistaking verbs for nouns, not following the tense. So instead I waited and I learned in the meantime. About four years later, in college, I'd be reading the 380-page novel Iacobus in Spanish. Even later still, I'd be in Bolivia, pulling out Spanish novels in our personal library to read for fun.

I think that's what discernment is like.
It's about waiting.
It's about learning.
It's about frustration as we impatiently want the answers NOW and/or as we get frustrated with ourselves for not knowing the answers.
It's about confusion as we navigate through the jungle of vocation and temptation.
It's about discovery, the discovery of who we really are and why God made us.
It's about mystery as we watch our life unfold before us.

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