Have you ever faced a quandary trying to decide which way to go at a juncture of life? Have you been uncertain of God’s direction or will in a situation? Have you wanted clarity about the direction you should take moving forward?
The Quaker Clearness Committee process provides us with a potentially useful pattern that we can follow or adapt to try to discern God’s voice and direction when faced with tough decisions or forks in the road.
The main idea is to gather three trusted friends plus yourself and set aside an uninterrupted two hours to listen, ask questions, pray and reflect on the situation. This is a general outline of the process:
- Listen without a pre-set agenda
- Ask questions in the spirit of mutual discernment
- Help determine what is inhibiting the person/blockages they need to deal with
- Shift from questions-only mode to giving feedback and reflections
- Consider ways/steps that could lead to growth
It’s easy to see how a process like this could be immensely helpful even those who do not come from a Quaker background. We live in a world where true listening is rare, uninterrupted time and focus is a gift, and the discernment of God’s voice can feel like a lost art.
Consider how you might implement some adaptation of a Quaker Clearness Committee in your context. We could all benefit from the wisdom of this tradition.