Mary was just a teenager when she said, "Yes". At least that is how the story goes. It seems too simple the way 2,000 years has bundled up the conception of Christ into a one paragraph segment of Mary's life. I like to say that I leap into "Yes", like she did, when the Spirit leads, but the truth is, the Spirit works on me for a long time before I go flying off the cliff of the unknown will of God.
It starts with a tiny nagging in a place that I can only describe as my heart. It is like being in a class in high school when the teacher walks out of the room. Everyone starts talking at the same time really loudly, but someone in the back of the room is calling my name. I don't want to be interrupted because I am talking to someone else, so I ignore them. "Claire...Claire...Claire..." It's a small disturbance that leaves me feeling a little unsettled and I don't know why.
So, soon the voice starts to come in louder, a little clearer too. The message begins to push through the cacophony of routine and comfort, and I start to feel uncomfortable for no reason. Once I say out loud that I am feeling this voice or doubting my daily choice to ignore it, then the layering begins to happen.
The synchronicity of messages begins to find me. Layer after layer, voice after voice repeats the message in every possible form from every possible and unlikely source until it is obvious that I am not going to be able to shake it off.
Then the thinking happens. I start to imagine what it would be like if I gave into this voice, this idea that is starting to take hold inside me. I envision my life living as it demands and imaging all the steps it would take to complete it's mission. The more I imagine it, the more I want it.
Once that happens, it is action time. I start to DO what it has requested. I prepare the way and to my surprise, the doors swing open (not always quickly) and the doors that need shutting slam closed. It is like the way was all actually prepared for me...
This is when I begin to talk to the voice. I pray, I meditate on it's message. I try to focus on the path it seems to be revealing for me to follow.
Then it is like walking through the woods at night. I have my flashlight down by my feet so that I don't trip on a root or rock and I step along carefully so that I won't fall. Every so often, I will flick my light up and forward to see where it is I am going. I will see a tree in the distance, maybe a cabin or a tent. My goal will be in view or close to it, and then I have to flick my light back down by my feet so that I won't stumble.
This is what "Yes" feels like. It's that tromping through the woods, faithfully following a light that keeps you from missing your step. It is also that glimpse of where you are headed so that you are encouraged to keep making the journey even if it turns out to be a long one.
I am currently on a "Yes" journey. This whole recipe for a new sense of call has happened to me over the last two and a half years and I am still getting glimpses of the goals ahead while I continue to take one step at a time. Sometimes, I get impatient and I try to take too many steps forward and have to go back. Sometimes, I forget what the goal looked like that I am aiming for and have to pause and remember. However, all the time, I focus on that light around my feet and pray for the right doors to open and for the wrong doors to close so that all I have to do is keep moving forward, trusting in the "yes" to guide me.