The Fork In The Road
A couple of years ago, if you had asked how confident I was in my ability to make quick decisions, I would have responded with something cocky and sure like:
Not only am I confident in my ability to make quick decisions, I feel I am also pretty darned good at knowing the right decision to make, too. Try me!
Now after a global pandemic messed up just about everything, and with all of the division and political strife, social pressures, and the like, I have had to walk that statement back a bit. Now, it sounds more like this:
Well, I need to think about it a bit more, maybe. Maybe Google some stuff. Don't want to move too quickly, you never know what might happen. Also, I'm not sure which way to go on this---no one wants to choose poorly, right?
I have had more than a few occasions when I thought I could trust my judgement as usual and then realized that I couldn't. The anxiety of our circumstances kept my head spinning a lot, which led to me second-guessing myself more often than not.
I have started to see things a bit differently, though. It's a process, so I'm far from perfect, but let me explain a bit.
First, I realized that my former confidence belied a lot of self-doubts that were being covered up by bravado. I also realized that I was doing everything I could to control everything I could, which wasn't sustainable.
Second, I wasn't listening intently enough for guidance from God when I came to forks in my road. I would listen to all kinds of other noise but tended to tune out the voice of the Spirit within me.
Also, I didn't open my eyes wide enough to truly see the signs of light and life to guide me forward in the right direction. Melody Beattie wrote eloquently about this:
When we get to a fork in the road and we're not certain which direction go, there's usually one path that appears lighter than another. Sometimes the light is dim. Sometimes it can only be seen with the eyes of our soul, the eyes of our heart. But it's also a light that can be clouded and blocked by fear...
I absolutely love this passage because it offers up a way to discern the right way to start walking when we are faced with a decision on which direction to take. There is a way in that fork in the road that is brighter than the other, we just have to see it.
Sometimes you might have to sit a while until you can discern the next step to take. That's okay. In fact, it's preferable to you simply charging off on your own.
Find quiet in your environment, and in your heart and mind. Let yourself listen intently for the voice of the Spirit, and open the eyes of your soul wide enough to see the light that will guide you to the right path.
May you find hope in this, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.
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