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Flying on an airplane is a great way to see life from a new perspective. Things that normally look big around us suddenly appear tiny. The snarling annoyance of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic is different when we view the same scene from the air. Cars form colorful ribbons across the landscape. Traffic doesn’t change—the transformation is our point of view.
In discernment, it's helpful to look at opportunities from diverse perspectives. We can see things anew. It’s easier to perceive from just one side—looking from different angles can be difficult and reveal callings we don’t want to consider. I've learned in a variety of workshops and retreats it's not just where we stand that determines what we see—who we stand with can also influence what we see. This I’ve heard repeatedly in the context of social justice, but I believe it applies to discernment as well.
Friends and family may offer differing perspectives from which to look at religious life too. Their questions may feel like inquisitions, but usually they want what's best for you. Amazing transformation is possible when articulating your thoughts and feelings to others about the life commitment you’re considering. The ability to express your thoughts may also wake up your heart as to how deep the discernment process has become. You may be surprised to find that what comes out of your mouth has already found a home in your heart.
Discernment requires openness, and considering the decision from a variety of perspectives will be fruitful. Perhaps this is the week to ask yourself (whether you have the opportunity to fly in an airplane or not) ... am I seeing my discernment from new heights? A different point of view?