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 Want To Be About
Principle and Foundation: What am I for? By Liz Olson, Columbus, OH
I want to do big things for God. I think of missionaries that have converted thousands, healing ministries that have brought God’s healing touch and deliverance, and teaching ministries with books and videos watched by Christians throughout the world. I often want to be counted in these ranks.
The Christian faith holds the conviction that I’m created to praise, love and serve God. This is the foundation of my calling. I stop now to wonder, are my big plans really for God? Or, are they to bring attention to myself?
If it is my purpose is to praise, love, and serve God, this means that I’m wired to do this naturally. This is what I was created to do. It is how God designed me. I don’t have to wait for the big thing or my “life’s work.” I can begin today.
Questions for Reflection
- What has God already invited me into? How would I feel if God asked me to stop? What would I miss about it?
- As I consider my day-to-day life – studying, working, recreation, household chores – how can I praise, love, and serve God in these areas?
- As I think about the people around me, who are the people on the “fringes”, those that might go unnoticed, that God might invite me to serve?
- What is my experience of loving God? What does it look like practically when I am loving God?
- When was the last time I praised God outside of a corporate worship service? What did it look like? How did I feel?
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.