I’m Going with Some Hesitation

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…”  Been there.  Most of the time, however, it’s been more like a maze.  I’ve often felt kinship to Tom Hanks at the end of Castaway standing at the crossroads trying to decide what to do.  Decisions are easy to make if you’re making them for someone else.  It’s different when it’s personal.

It’s hard to have options.  It can be easier to follow the well-trodden path of expectations than to choose between the lady and the tiger.  Often, there is no clear path though there may be indicators of firm footing.  We cannot eliminate risk from life, but Monday morning prognosticators will not take this truth into account in their assessments of your game-day performance.  And we cannot escape choices.  We are doomed to choose.  You’re not a winner, and you’re not a loser.  You’re a chooser. 

I’ve known the joy of the new venture.  It’s exciting to strike out on a quest with uncertain ends.  And there are the endless possibilities of new things.  More than once, however, I have surveyed the charred ruins of shattered dreams that once seemed full of promise.  New horizons offer no guarantees and few condolences.  While it’s thrilling to feel the wind on your hair, it messes up your hair.

Sometimes, the safe choice is not safe at all.  And I’m not so sure about the sure thing.  We can make decisions seemingly based on likelihood which turn out no better than if we’d rolled the dice.  There’s a ditch on either side of the road, and we are ever deliberating between freedom and constraint.  What’s the up or downside, and which path would wisdom choose?  It’s not always best to hold your cards though exchanges should be made with care.

Scripture tells us that acknowledging God will allow Him to guide our steps.  Believers will seek God’s will (some more and some less) as they administrate their lives.  Parts of the Christ-followers earthy responsibilities are to pursue God’s desires, hear His voice and follow His direction.  It is comfort to the faithful to know God is leading them and knows the end from the beginning when they do not.  Still, following God’s leading is easier said than done, and the ambition to do so does not insure correct application.

It is no easy matter to divine the will of the God whose ways are past finding out.  Believers have struggled with the practice for thousands of years.  God is not at fault for our misunderstandings as the sinful nature inhibits our best efforts.

Some seem to never be able to settle on the course God has chosen for them.  They loudly proclaim their visions which mostly seem of short duration, and then God is off again in a different direction.  While it is not impossible that God’s will change, one wonders how clearly the oracles of God actually appear to such.  God does not work by fiat, and it is possible to get natural inclination confused with divine revelation.

A few will confidently express their desire for divine direction by saying such things as, “I pray for God to direct me which way to drive to work.”  Normally, these assertions are followed by stirring examples of their finding legitimate needs or supplies on their ways to the office.  I don’t do that.  And I have helped people on my way to and from work.  I don’t mind you saying that if you don’t mind me taking a different approach.

I believe sincere Christians struggle to find the will of God.  It’s not that His will is not sometimes apparent, but we see through a glass darkly.  A college professor of mine once said, “Some people are so sincere- they hurt.”  I know the pains of trial and loss but do not believe God’s direction is only bought through tears. 

Samuel told Saul that he could apply his efforts to tasks before him because God was with him.  I tend to take this angle as prescriptive for the believer.  If a person is convinced that they are right with God and has confidence He is leading them, they can navigate their lives without turmoil and in full assurance.  This does not mean they do not doubt at times only that they walk in comfort and security.  If they make a wrong turn, the God who leads them will lovingly correct them.  Maintaining the relationship with the Father is key and not hand-wringing over making a faulty step.

Years ago, I came across the line, “Often on the rock I tremble, faint of heart and weak of knee, but the steadfast Rock of Ages never trembles under me.”  I know what it’s like to fear the nightfall and stumble in the dark, but I also know what it’s like to hear the voice behind.

God wants to guide and will lead if we allow Him and does not intend us to limp throughout our days as if His directions for our lives are puzzles few can solve.


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