Through the Jello

One of the things many of us struggle with is the question of what God is calling us to do right now with our lives. We go to work in the morning, we interact with our colleagues and friends and family on the weekends, we support our parish family with time, treasure and talent—but there seems to be a deeper calling within us and we wonder what it means. I like to think of spiritual direction as helping someone wade through a swimming pool of lime jello (yes, lime would be Father’s favorite!) with no clear sign of what step to take next. By looking over our shoulder, however, seeing how our life has unfolded thus far, we can perceive a possible trajectory for what has to happen next. In my experience, this is the typical way of moving forward.
There are other times in our lives when all the signs seem to be pointing us in a particular direction. Our thoughts and dreams are echoed in the songs we jam to in the car on the way to Kroger. Our desires are expressed on the pages of the novels we read and stories we hear at work. Our vision is expanded and our heart strings are pulled through the various media we encounter. Through all it, a message becomes clearer. Maybe that message doesn’t even seem to make sense. Maybe the message has no discernable “real world” application, nonetheless in the deepest part of us these plans and urges feel right. Maybe we feel like we are being invited to relocate across the country to create a new life, even though everything is going well right where we are. Or maybe we feel the desire to pursue a new direction in our career when it never really interested us before. Or maybe God is tickling our fancy with the thought of a fresh way of serving others that we hadn’t even considered before. When we spend time in the Silence, getting in touch with our higher soul-self, our intuition sends us messages that are meant to lead us into becoming our most fulfilled selves. The first step is to become open enough to hear the message; the next step is to simply decide to take action and make a move.

Curiously, once we make the decision to pursue these inner urgings or desires, the whole universe that God has created begins to set into motion all the right means for the details of God’s plan to come to fruition. Where we were once stressed about the insecurity and fear of change, now a sense of peace comes over us, because we know that our questions will no longer make us wonder if God’s call is possible, rather, we will find ways to make that call’s vision really happen. Instead of deterring us from our goal, these new questions only serve to clarify our focus as we move forward. This is not about “throwing caution to the wind” in order to pursue some wild dream, rather it’s about trusting that the God who planted these deep desires within us will certainly guide and direct us. It’s the move from fear to loving trust: the shift in our soul’s energy will then affect everything around us in a positive way. Like a tsunami of grace, that energy can then go ahead of us, clearing any debris from our path so we can move forward to embrace the dream God has given.
Like all the great dreamers in our Scriptures (Samuel, David, Joseph and all the Prophets) we will find that our new attitude will attract to us all the help we need, including likeminded people. Sometimes even the most unlikely angels arrive at just the right time to help us with the information and nurture we need. Whatever our dreams are, wherever we are feeling drawn to make them come to light, it all begins with a simple surrendering of our fears in order that God can help us take that first step. Taking action is the difference between dreamers and workers.

Wishing you a week of fearless dreaming and great daring,


About frmichelrcc

I have a degree in religious studies from the University of Wisconsin, did graduate work in theology at St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin, and also at St. Paul's University in Ottawa. I have been a Benedictine since I first professed as an oblate in 1982, making final profession in 2009. I have worked as vocations director in a large diocese in the mid-west and am a spiritual director in the Benedictine tradition. I have 3 sons, one of whom is now in God's loving embrace in eternity, and 2 grandsons, Bradley and Jacob.
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