Monday, 2 December 2013


Earlier today I was racking my brains trying to write this blog post. An idea would come and I would begin typing, my fingers aimlessly wandering across the keyboard as my mind aimlessly wondered what I was trying to say. A paragraph would form, yet, unsatisfied and uninspired, my ring finger would fiercely punch away at the backspace key and the process would repeat. And repeat. And repeat.

After each attempt my frustration grew. I could sense within a passion rising, yet each attempt failed to articulate that passion. After several attempts I resigned myself to failure and stared, defeated at my computer screen. Until tonight. Something in my head clicked. The word "undercurrent" sprang up in my consciousness:

noun underlying feeling or influence, especially one that is contrary to the prevailing atmosphere and is not expressed openly;
2.a current of water below the surface and moving in a different direction from any surface current.

I was experiencing an underlying feeling to express something ( I didn't know what), yet couldn't articulate it at a surface level. And then it clicked: that something I wanted to write about was undercurrents. 

Undercurrent is an odd word. We might use the words "gut feeling", "soul", "conscience", "little voice". Some people would say that our lives have a story which we have to figure out. In my field of work we talk about God's calling on our lives. Whatever you want to call it, you may have experienced that certain pulling or drawing towards a certain direction.

But there's something about the word undercurrent that really struck me tonight. It's something below the surface, something deeper. And it's something that pulls us, perhaps against what may seem to make sense. What a perfect analogy for calling and discernment!

Discernment doesn't (and can't) happen at the surface level. I can't decide I'm not called to be a priest because I find women attractive. It's a normal thing for a man to find women attractive, that's a surface level observation. I have to go deeper than the norm to discern where God is calling me. That means doing something. I drum on a lot in this blog about discerning being more than "thinking about" my vocation, but the reality is unless you change the pattern of your life you won't learn anything new about yourself. 

God isn't shallow, neither should our faith be. Our God is deep, and if we're to follow Him we need to go deep within ourselves. That means facing up to the junk in our lives, that means owning up to our own realities and limitations, and it means surrender to where the undercurrent might be flowing. 

The thing is, we don't just figure out God's will for our lives in our mid-twenties then live happily ever after! The Christian journey is about re-living that commitment everyday, daring to seek where the undercurrent may lead every single day of our lives.
Still you insist on sincerity of heart, in the depths of my heart teach me wisdom
                                                                                                         Psalm 51:8

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