Monday, January 5, 2009

Choose your own adventure.

Remember Choose Your Own Adventure books?

You're sitting there enjoying a perfectly nice story, and then you get to the bottom of the page and you have to make a choice…

If you want the story to go in this direction, turn to page 56.
If you want the story to go in that direction, turn to page 34.

And then you have to choose.
Way easier said than done.

I feel like so often that is what my life is like. I'm walking along, enjoying myself, getting comfortable, and then I'm faced with a choice.

If you want your life to go in this direction, choose this.
If you want your life to go in this direction, choose that.

And so often I stand there and stare at the options, weighing every single possible outcome for each decision, making lists of pros and cons, praying and hearing God, and then questioning God. I psych myself out, I get overly excited, I take a trial step in one direction and then jump back, unable to commit fully to one or the other. It's a disaster.

I remember reading the Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was little and I remember getting to a choice and choosing one thing, and then going back and choosing the other one also. I would try and read as many different stories as I possibly could within each book.

Isn't that how we treat life sometimes?

We get to a choice. We make a choice. And then instead of committing fully to that path, we run back and try out other paths to see if they would have been a better choice. Or, even if we never actually go backwards, we still look around us and wish that we could know what the other option would have led to.

But that's the beauty of Choose Your Own Adventure. Each choice is followed by more and more choices. It's not as if you make one choice and then you can see the entire path laid out before you, you must continue to choose your own adventure, time and time again. There is no way to ever know all of the different ways your story could have ended up, the possibilities are endless.

But there is a God who guides you, never forces you, to the best path for your life. You will still be faced with choices, and sometimes they will all seem like good options, but you must choose one. And you must commit fully to it. Don't let fear overtake you, don't let "what if's?" dictate your life, don't let curiosity about where the other paths would lead draw your focus from your current path, and don't miss out on God's best for you because you stand there for so long trying to make a decision.

What does your heart tell you? What is the Lord whispering in your ear? Which path takes you in the direction of the promises God has made to you? Which path requires the most sacrifice? Which path is the easy way out? Which path is your destiny?

The best part of standing at these choices is that we do not stand there alone. We are traveling through this great adventure with the Creator of the Universe and if we will let him, he will take us on a greater adventure than we ever could have imagined. But we must listen, and we must be willing to lead where he follows, and we must choose our adventure with strength and comfort found in the fact that we know God is guiding us in that way.

Life is scary. Choices are even more frightening. But Christ is steadfast and he will only guide us to his absolute best.

So choose your own adventure, and then keep your eyes straight ahead.

Amazing things are about to happen…