“It shouldn’t be this difficult, but it is. I just want to make the right decision. What should I do when there are so many options? Every choice I make, it has its consequences and affects so many people. I don’t know if I can do this. What do I even stand for?”
We make about 35000 at day; some choices may not have the same effect as others, but discernment is still hard.
I found myself in a position of discernment recently when I was given the option to step down from an executive position with InterVarsity Undergraduate at SFU. I was first offer this position back in May and at the time, had no idea what the role would require of me. During the summer, I continued to contemplate whether I made the right decision to join the leadership team in the first place. What concerned my the most while contemplating was the fact that I would be entering a very busy stage in my academic career starting in September, when I more difficult courses and applying for co-op positions. I had a feeling that if I managed my time correctly, I would be able to make time to be on leadership as well.
When September arrived, I met with the InterVarsity SFU staff worker and was given a briefing of what was discussed on a leadership retreat that I was unable to attend. Hearing what was planned for the upcoming year overwhelmed me as there was a lot that was planned. At the end of the meeting, my staff worker, knowing that I may be feeling overwhelmed, reminded me that I was told me that if felt that it was too much for me to handle, he wants me to feel free to step down without any guilt. This was the beginning of my discernment process.
During the process of discernment, I took time to think through many things such as my schedule, my feelings, my desires, and what I feel my calling is. What I realized most about myself in this process is that what I need was not to be in a leadership position. What I really needed was rest. After stepping down from being a leader in the youth ministry at my church for the past two years, I have not found the time to truly slow down my life. I also believe that if I were to join the leadership team in InterVarsity, I would soon find myself leading out of obligation and not out of joy, which will end up causing me to burn out.
What I realized soon after was that I truly wanted to use my time at the SFU Downtown campus in a valuable way. Being located in a unique place where you are located next to the beauty of Vancouver Harbour as well as next the brokenness of Downtown Eastside, it gives me an opportunity to rest and reflect in a beautiful place or break barriers and talk to the broken and the vulnerable.
Although I do not fully know the implications of this nor do I know what discernment is all about. I have to go with my heart. Maybe I will regret the decision of stepping down from leadership in a few weeks, or a few months, or maybe I won’t regret it at all. But all I can do is continue on with what I feel called to.
Charles Spurgeon once said “Discernment is not a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”
As for my process of discernment, I have found myself caught between beauty and brokenness. What I feel called to do however, is to find the beauty in the brokenness.