Which way should we go? What should we do? Who do we choose?
Questions like these are crossroads of us all as we make our way on the road of life. At first, the questions seems simple. We just have to choose between directions on a compass point, right? We just have to make a decision on which task or undertaking to take on, correct? When choosing between nominees, then we should base our votes on how we see the candidates as viable for the office, easy?
Those answers should be easy enough to determine, but what happens when God (and God's will for us) is in the mix? In I Samuel, we have an object lesson in the person of Saul with regard to what life looks like when we take the life and authority we have from God and impose our own will upon it, eschewing God's intent in favor of our own. We know what not to do...but knowing what not to do is only half the journey to life in God. The other half is tougher to embrace: opening ourselves fully to what God intends, to the point where we place our trust completely in seeking and discerning God's will and then choosing to immerse ourselves in it, body and soul.
|The lots cast...|
|the election of Matthias|
The intent is to place total trust in God to guide the people into the correct choices. Nowadays, we call it discernment. It means going beyond what our intellects, our experience, our gut, our prejudices even...into a place where we are willing to suspend judgment while allowing God to be present and guide the group to a deeper consensus. It means surrendering our personal agendas and certainties while at the same time opening ourselves to the Spirit's guidance. It means being willing to make God the center of the process.
The ancients accomplished that with the casting of lots. For us today, it means being willing to trust in something greater than ourselves: in God's guidance and will prayerfully discerned and then embraced with commitment.