How to discern God's will

I am currently in the process of deciding on my A-levels (the British end-of-secondary-education exams). For a while I have felt a course of almost solely humanities was right for me. Now, I am feeling that I should consider some sciences.

I have been praying for some time, but it is so difficult to know what God is calling me to choose.

When attending Mass this evening, and praying for my discernment, the words ‘Physics’ and ‘Chemistry’ came into my head. I don’t know whether this was due to my current anxiety over whether to choose these subjects, or if this was genuinely a sign from God.

I feel studying Theology and History would be more enjoyable for me, but I want to do what God is calling me to do.
My question is - how do I determine what this is?

Thank you. Please pray for me.
God bless.

I’m no expert in discernment, but I’ve done quite a bit of studying and applying for higher education.

I would consider the reason you think you should consider a science, continue to pray for guidance and the character to follow where you are directed, but also you could discern by heading down the path of adding a science.

Let’s say you start studying Physics for your third A level. Revise. After awhile, I’m sure there are ways to quiz yourself on your knowledge. See how you are doing. If you don’t favor your science at all, and feel your time would be better spent entirely on non-science subjects, you have a reason to make a choice. I’m American, but I assume you don’t want to sit for the A levels and have a poor score on one of them. I could be wrong, if you took them all and got As and Bs in the humanities and a lower grade or didn’t pass science, I don’t know if your record includes only the ones you passed.

What I’ve discovered in my own life experience is that most of my understanding of how to make decisions has come after I made a decision and only later realized the ramifications.

Keep us posted! I’ll wonder what you decided and how it worked out for you.


Nice to see another Brit(?)

First off, I really relate to your situation. While I’ve done my A-levels and am about to finish my uni degree, I’m also at a crossroads on where to go from here.

Some food for thought: sometimes, I can trust my instinct and how I feel about something. Sometimes, I can’t. I often FEEL like I want to do something sinful, and in these moments, I have to trust God to do for me what I cannot do for myself and relieve from me insanity, regardless of how I feel. Sometimes, my feelings are very useful, like when my friends ask me to go out drinking heavily and partying with them at a nightclub: my feelings warn me that that’s probably not what God would have me do (I come from a family of alcoholics,) and I trust that the slight unsettling feeling in my stomach is a sign that I shouldn’t go. The point is: how YOU feel about something may not be the acid test for whether not it is what God would have you do.

There is no easy answer, and there shouldn’t be: this is important. What I would say is, pray for usefulness to God - humbly ask Him how you can best serve Him. For myself, I ask, and say, ‘God, please help me think not only how I might benefit from this decision, but how I might best serve You, and be useful to other people through serving You.’ And then, you have to take a step back - and sometimes pay attention to the little things. I think this passage, called Watch and Listen, says it well.

"Watch and listen carefully.

The man whispered, “God, speak to me” and a meadowlark sang. But, the man did not hear. So the man yelled, “God, speak to me!” And the thunder rolled across the sky. But, the man did not listen.

The man looked around and said, “God let me see you.” And a star shined brightly. But the man did not notice.

And, the man shouted, “God show me a miracle!” And, a life was born. But, the man did not know.

So, the man cried out in despair, “Touch me God, and let me know you are here!” Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man. But, the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

Don’t miss out on a blessing because because it isn’t packaged the way that you expect."

Just to add here - I chose chemistry and physics, and I loved them! But then, if I chose again now, I’m sure I’d be more drawn to theology now. :slight_smile: funny how life works like that!

May God bless you!

Posted into Phatmass Phorum:


Posted Yesterday, 10:52 PM
I got this in an email from VISION magazine and I think people here might find it helpful.

I know the Sister who wrote this and she has always given me good advice!

Thank you all so much for your replies. They have all helped so much, especially by allowing me to consider God’s voice in many different ways.

I have now opted for Chemistry instead of English Literature, and hope that I may grow closer to God and do his will through it.

God bless you all. You will be in my prayers.

Let me also reccomend to you the following book: “Discerning the Will of God” by Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV. It’s a great read on how to discern God’s will for you and how to respond to his Graces.

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