Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Discernment doesn't have to be painful

Yesterday was a big day for the sophomores in ROTC. EA’s (enrollment allocations, for field training) came out. By getting an EA, the Air Force is essentially saving you a spot as an officer in the year you graduate. By getting an EA, you basically get hired. Normally, it’s a pretty good chance someone will get an EA (so long as they have ok grades and can pass the physical fitness test) But this year, about 25% of sophomores have been cut nationally (meaning they won’t receive an EA and will no longer be in ROTC). Our detachment at Auburn always does better than the national statistics, but that still translated into a 17% cut, or 5 cadets that were told yesterday that they are no longer a cadet. One of these people was my mentee, who is also the person I asked for advice about discernment not too long ago.

It hard to be rejected, especially when you really put yourself out there, and it’s something you really want and have worked hard for. However, sometimes it just isn’t meant to be. I was reminded how I should work everyday to focus on true and lasting goals, ones that God also wants me chasing after, which ultimately is only one goal, with two main branches. The goal is to love God. The branches are to pray and serve others. As long as you don’t stray far from the true goal, rejection may not be so devastating.

It’s hard to discern sometimes. I think people like to gravitate towards having a successful sounding story. Saying I was in the military and had a long and decorated career would be ideal, along with the perfect family, in a beautiful house, and blah, blah, blah. The ideas we have for our life however hardly ever work out. At the time we can be crushed, especially when it wasn’t completely selfish (like serving your country, or starting a religious group). But one thing is sure, when a door is closed on you, most likely, God didn’t want you to go through it.

In order to keep the trauma down, it’s good to keep in mind “the goal”. There are many ways to love God, and God will eventually lead you to the only way that you were meant to do it. And while waiting for the path to be made clear may be hard and confusing, praying and serving others will still lead you to love God. And most likely, you will end up with an unbelievable story at the end of your life.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Ruth. It kind of reminds me why I love reading the lives of the saints. Many of them went through long periods of suffering or failure, of being rejected (by both the "good guys" and the "bad guys"), of loneliness or dryness, and in the end they turned out triumphant.