Yet, other things this week got me thinking about presentation. In particular, I got to thinking about my own tendencies to want to give presentations to God; that is, my tendency to want to craft a neat, organized and, if possible, engaging little presentation about what I'm intending to do rather than the messy process of asking for help while I'm still discerning. It would be so much more comfortable to just report my solution to whatever it is that I'm trying to sort out and just get God's little red stamp up in the right corner- preferably with a gold star or two for good work. Of course, that isn't how discernment is supposed to work and my tendency to want to wrap things up merely causes me to anxiously chase my own tail trying to solve the problem myself. I know that, whenever I'm dithering, it is almost certainly because I'm trying to think my way to that presentation and I need to stop and start asking questions about why I'm trying to solve this problem on my own. Then, I need to take it to someone- God, of course, but, since God tends to work through other people, someone else who can help me sort out the tangle that I've created in my own head. The times I do that usually are the times when decisions become more clear. And that is why I'm getting better about remembering to do it eventually. .
So, what I think I'm learning is that my relationship with God and others doesn't need to be a slickly designed presentation, but an invitation into a much more dynamic, creative and messy process. When I give a presentation at school, no one sees the false starts, mistakes, and just bad ideas through which I had to dismiss and correct to get the final process. Yet, it is in those false starts, mistakes and bad ideas that I learn and in that creative process that I grow. The point of discernment is not to look good, but rather to learn what live out the life that God intends for me. Like my Grade 8 presentations, I still don't control the outcomes, but I have to trust God, either in prayer or through others, will show me what He wants for me and that is going to be a better outcome than anything I'm likely to come up with on my own.