An examen is a prayerful review of the day that focuses your attention on the movements of God in your life. By reflecting on the events of the last several hours, you can look for moments where you felt more alive and connected to God and others. You’ll also notice the events that caused you to withdraw or experience anxiety, restlessness, or frustration. Practiced daily, they help you notice patterns that may confirm and clarify your vocational calling.
In this season of your life, you’re wrestling with many questions as you navigate the various options for your vocation. In the following seven examens, you will be guided on a journey of deep, inner awareness to notice God’s love for you, the movements of your own heart, the things that affect you negatively, your connection to others in community, the ways you give the best part of who you are, what is important to you, and what you want to be about. We pray that these exercises might establish some foundational practices that can aid you in discerning and noticing God’s movement in your life, to begin to create a framework for healthy discernment upon which a larger discernment process can rest.
Noticing What I Can Give From The Best Part Of Who I Am
The Gifts I Give: What are my charisms? By Jared Boyd, Columbus, Ohio
I want to be called into to something. I want the Lord to give me an assignment. But what I sometimes forget is that he has already given me gifts. These gifts, or charisms, is the sense of inspiration and ability to accomplish a particular task to which one feels invited to by God. When I feel an ease in my work or a deeper desire to persevere in the midst of setbacks, these can often indicate that there is a particular gifting for the work.
But these gifts are not just for myself. These are gifts, given by God to me, for the purpose of partnering with God in his mission. We imagine that each follower of Jesus brings her gift to the table, and together our gifts become gifts to each other in our work together for the building of God’s kingdom. I am often looking for the task – the assignment or call (vocation) – but I don’t give nearly enough time to thinking deeply about the charism God has already given and how this gift can become the gift I give away to others.
Questions for Reflection
- How do I experience the current work I’m engaged in? What do I do that makes me come alive?
- Where does my community experience the best of me? What do I offer to them when we are together? What gifts do I bring that others would readily recognize?
- What do others ask of me that makes me feel affirmed in their asking it?
- What kinds of things do I dream of doing?
- God, what gifts have you given me to steward?
If you’re interested in more content like this, you can download our whole ebook How To Notice What God Is Doing, 7 examens to prepare your heart for Cause Con.