“Now to Him who has power to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ. . .” (Romans 16:25-26 HCSB)
For a bit of study, I suggested, in part one, solving the riddle of navigating the fork in the road. Assignment two suggested an exploration of times in which you’ve come to a physical or emotional or intellectual fork in the road. How did you navigate? Go easy on yourself, though. It’s okay to spiritualize taking directions from someone such as, “In this or that decision, G-d brought so and so into my path to guide me.” See that was easy. G-d spoke through someone. And if you are courageous, ask the hard questions, like: “Did I want someone to ask?” and “Did I ask G-d for some person to help me?” “Am I avoiding G-d in search for a person to tell me what to do?” As a challenge assignment, take some time to think about how you really determine what to do each and every moment of the day. When you have a choice, with what do you fill your spare hours?
Let’s do some exploring and thinking together, making some notes along the way.
Exploring Scripture. On his way to Jerusalem, Paul was heading into trouble. He knew it. A man prophesied that Paul would be bound while in Jerusalem. Those who were with Paul then knew it would be trouble for him. They implored Paul not to go. Paul said he must go. Once in Jerusalem, trouble was not far behind Paul. Eventually Paul was arrested. Paul, in a split-second decision appealed to Caesar. Now he set himself upon a course in which there was no return?literally. What does this tell us about the decision-making process? Any fear of choosing the ‘wrong’ Path?
Interesting Thought. Up the stakes on the riddle about navigating the fork in the road, make it that one of the forks leads through danger, the other through a peaceful valley. Now which path is correct? How will you know? And really, does it make a difference which path you choose? Where are we really going, that we are determined to walk a path through either a peaceful valley or a dangerous canyon?
Which Way to the Big Door? What’s beyond the door and through the path? There’s several paths that lead to the Big Door, our ultimate destination. Which path is the easiest? That’s what we’re really looking for, isn’t it an easy path?
Another View. There is a view of life that says there are no peaceful valleys on the road to our ultimate destination. What appears to be peaceful, is simply a mirage, and disappears like a whiff of fog, or a puff of smoke. So with this as a vantage point, looking down at the indecisive traveler, we are able to see that the choice of which path to take isn’t so very important as the traveler thinks.
Thinking. This is the existentialist viewpoint. If we look at the world through it, we see all paths as leading to some sort of trouble, danger. Y’shuaJesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the road is broad that leads to perdition, and many are the ones who go through it. “For the gate is small, and the road is narrow that leads to life, and few are the ones who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 MRC) This says there is a path that appears wide, and one that appears narrow. The wide path is well traveled; the narrow path is not. We are to choose to walk the narrow path. So choosing the right path is important, then.
Complicating Things. In this light, then, how do we interpret Y’shuaJesus’s words in John 10:10? “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10 HCSB) Does that mean there is abundant life at the end of the journey, on the other side of The Big Door, and not during our travels?
Concluding Thoughts. Decisions shouldn’t be hard. We aren’t really facing two paths, neither of which offer glimpses as to their destination. Actually, if we are faced with a fork, we can somewhat know the potential for each one to lead us to our duty, our work that is G-d’s will for our lives. Of course, there is one small problem for some of us that sort of haven’t a clue what our life’s work is suppose to be. And for those of us that don’t even know who we are, we really do have a problem deciding the proper, the best path. But then perhaps that’s exploring to be done another day.
What I really want when faced with a fork in the path, is a clear, calm, reassuring voice from the Holy Spirit saying to me, “Go this way,” and then to be pointed into The Way, and reassured as I walk along.
Lord help us that we “don’t turn to the right or to the left; [but] keep [our] feet away from evil,” (Proverbs 4:27 HCSB) that we might be ushered through the Big Door and feast with You at that Great Wedding Banquet You planned.
Lord G-d, Creator, Almighty, teach us, lead us, make us know You, and Your ways. In the Name of Y’shuaJesus. Amen.
Lord Bless, Keep, and Shine upon and through you all! Terry