Exploration & Discernment
The primary way that I’ve been getting around and becoming familiar with Denver is by riding my bicycle. This city is an ideal home for bikers, too—between the bike-friendly public transit, the abundant bike lanes and the extensive trail system you can pretty much get anywhere. I’ve found that biking these trails provides some of the best space for contemplative time and personal reflection.
It recently dawned on me that there are some similarities between those exploratory rides and the journey that has been my discernment of religious life. The trail infrastructure in and around Denver is excellent—it’s well-planned and carefully thought-out and clearly took years to develop. Similarly, the discernment process that I’ve experienced with the Sinsinawa Dominicans has been solidly founded, well-developed and thoughtfully designed over time.
My first time on a trail, there are often mysterious forks where the signage at a given juncture is confusing (or absent), but I generally know which direction I’m headed—and occasionally I find maps showing the area that help me to get oriented. The trails afford me the opportunity to explore and gain appreciation of the less-traveled parts of Denver. Likewise, from time to time I find the non-linear progression of the discernment process challenging and confusing but my relationship with the Sinsinawa sisters helps to orient me. It may not be as handy and straightforward as a map revealing the full plan, but I know I’m secure and supported in my exploration.
There have also been times when I feel totally lost exploring a trail—I don’t know where I am and I have no idea where it will come out—but I know I’m on a good path that leads somewhere. As I’m gaining exposure to the joys of religious life and the challenges it presents, I know that I can trust in a solid process that will lead me somewhere good.