Recently, a friend of mine made a huge commitment to her church. It will require her to go through an intense week of training in a different city, and be immersed in many, many, many, MANY hours of follow-up. As she was in the midst of committing to the job, she explained to me that she could think of lots of reasons to say no, and only one to say yes. One.
Similar story, on a smaller scale: Frequently in the past year, I have had the notion that I should write a thank-you note to the parents of some people who have been an incredible gift in my life, to tell them that all their sacrifices, prayers, and discipline have borne great fruit. I let the notion flit through my head, but wouldn’t put my hands to the task because I was also able to conjure up countless variations of excuses about embarrassing myself or intruding on their family privacy. Last week, though, I finally mustered up the courage to ignore the many flimsy excuses and act on the one solid directive.
So many times in our lives – HUGE times and smaller times – we wonder how to know if we are performing God’s will. We worry. We take classes or search the web hoping to find the keys to discernment. We run to our friends/priests, or hire spiritual advisors. At some point, we learn that we should compare the voices in our hearts to Scripture to see if they are in alignment. And that is so true! But sometimes, in a pinch, our Bible is not handy. (That’s a topic for a different day!) Well, blessings on us: there is another test, as well.
We can ask ourselves: what are the reasons that the world at large would say “no” to this? Would the world tut-tuttingly remind us to cling to our money, pride, security, comfort, beauty, leisure, independence, busyness? Are there, in fact, MANY “common-sense” reasons against it? And then: what is the ONE good reason to say “yes”? If that reason involves true holiness (including any of its subsidiaries, like sacrifice, mercy, generosity, self-control…), then we most probably have our one answer.
And if we move forward through each decision prayerfully, asking God – who can turn all things to the good for those who love Him (cf. Romans 8:28) – to act alongside us, then we can forge ahead with confidence, knowing that the ONE who made us is always working to advance His one ultimate plan of love.
Which ministry is speaking to your heart? Which ONE reason will you have for choosing to accept its call?