I have just come through the most difficult decision making process of my life. Over the past five months as I've been trying to make a decision between two job options I have prayed and prayed that God would make the decision clear to me - or to someone else for me. But that didn't occur.
My spiritual director directed me to practice "indifference." What he meant was for me not to try to impose my desires and biases on either job but to be available to serve Christ in either setting until the decision became clear.
Pilots who are flying in darkness or fog cannot rely on their eyes they have to rely on their instruments - those gauges that tell them their altitude, speed, direction, etc. When you are flying by the instruments you have to trust the instruments are accurate. You're flying "by faith not by sight." This, it turns out, is what God was trying to teach me. I experienced unprecedented fogginess in my life. I could do nothing but try to follow the instruments - namely what the Bible says we should do and what wise counselors counsel us to do.
One of the job situations that I was trying to decide on involved conflict between myself and another person. The Bible has some clear things to say about how to approach, deal with, and resolve conflict. At times I just wanted to bail - who needs this?! The other person felt the same way. But we stuck to it. We were both flying by the instruments.
On Thursday the conflict resolved and I thought we I was going to choose the job where there had been conflict. But, slowly clarity of vision returned - the fog lifted, the sun began to rise. Sunday morning I read a quote from Fredrich Beuchner about calling in life. It was at that moment that I felt like the sun came over the horizon and I was able to see with clarity the choice I would make.
Looking back now, I can see that God was leading myself and the other person through a process of spiritual formation that was far more important than the job decision. Once we worked through the conflict and came out as friends again, we were ready to move on with the job question.
God's ways are not our ways. But his ways prove to be good time and time again.