Ruth Haley Barton | eReflections
“Spiritual leadership springs forth in grace from our very desire for God’s presence. This does not take effort or striving. It takes courage, a kind of showing up, attentiveness.”—Gerald May
At this point in our summer series you might be wondering, how in the world does anything get done? Paul answers this precise question in Romans 12:2 when he says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, acceptable and perfect.” With this simple statement he establishes a cause and effect relationship between our commitment to the process of spiritual transformation and our ability to discern and do the will of God.
The ability to discern God’s will is a natural by-product of our transformation. Beyond the chaos that gets stirred up as we face ourselves more honestly in God’s presence, the debris of our false-self patterns is cleared out and the true-self-in-God emerges more fully, available for what God wants to do in and through us. As disciplines of rest, solitude, and silence rescue us from the brink of dangerous levels of exhaustion, we are restored to a state of quiet alertness, ready to receive guidance from God about what we are to do in the world.
A knowing comes…a still, small voice whispers…some new wind of the Spirit blows… and we are awake and alert enough to recognize it.
Of course, the endgame of discernment is that we actually do it! Then as we get out there and actually do the will of God as we have come to understand it, we inevitably come to the end of our own wisdom which then propels us back into discernment mode. What develops is a back and forth rhythm of discerning and doing and then discerning again. This is the sacred rhythm of ministry.