September 1, 2010

Deciding What To Do Next

I am at a crossroads of sort; and I don't know what to do. Which way do I go, which road or path do I choose to follow?

It has been a long dry spell in this wilderness of my life; and now, I am about to exit it and begin a new chapter. I am standing at the intersection of two paths, two choices -- both leading me out, but going in very different directions.

As I ponder my life, and I consider my future, one thing is for certain; I am determined to follow Christ. I have spent far too many years following after my own whims and desires, only to find myself in a place of my own choosing; but, feeling absolutely and utterly miserable. Yes, I have followed paths that "looked" right to me, yet in the end, turned out to be so clearly wrong. Was I just short-sighted or was I persuaded by outside influences (friends, family, well-wishers, etc.)? The short answer: yes and yes. I was both. Often, I went into plans with little "do diligence" (my new bestest phrase thanks to Bishop TD Jakes). I simply did not consider the cost of my choice nor did I consider the impact it might have on my life "down the road." I only saw the immediate result -- saving me from a problem or circumstance or unwanted experience. It was a quick fix that didn't really fix anything at all (like duct tape -- it works unless you plunge it under water and expect it to keep your boat afloat while you cross an ocean! Actually, the Mythbusters did prove that duct can work under water -- just not for long term applications.)

Often, I chose to duct tape my problem, to simply shore it up until a later date when I would give it more serious consideration. This not only led me to find myself in more serious situations; but often, I was so tired of reapplying the duct tape, that I had little energy left over to think clearly about a better solution.

And, then there was the advice that was offered freely and with such enthusiasm; but was good for only circumstantial application. Truthfully, friends and family can be a sounding board (so long as they are in a good frame themselves); but they are not always the best counsel on more serious matters. It is best to get an objective opinion, and one from a source of higher authority (God perhaps? Yes, and Amen.) I am afraid that far too often I sought the counsel of men over the authority of God's Word. I went to His word as a last resort and then only after things were not going well with the worldly instruction I had received. I didn't inquire of the Lord, as David did, nor did I trust in my own understanding of God's word (by relying on the Holy Spirit to use His word to help me). No, I often went to the Word when I was spent, done in, and ragged -- rarely before I was ready to head out on my journey.

Over the course of time, my process of decision making as changed. I am now seeking God first; man second. I do welcome the counsel of friends, of family, of my Pastor, etc.; but ultimately my choice is based on God and His Word alone. God is number One now, and I have come to rely on His Judgement of things, His Right Thinking, and His Compassion for my life and the plans He has for it. God does know me best, and He loves me to boot. His plans are always for my Good, and they are perfectly complete in His Name (in Jesus). They lack nothing, they are well-suited to me AND to His purpose, and they are tried-and-true -- tested. They will not fail, they will not falter, and they will not suffer hardship from the world. Nope, they are God's plans, and His plans always succeed.

My goal now is to make sure that all decisions I make are in accordance with His Word to me. He knows me best, and He knows the plans He has for me. Therefore, the choices must always be reflective of His best for me, and must conform to His will for my life. If they do, then I know that I will be well on my way to a good thing, a very good thing. If not, then I will steer past them, and walk on by. My life is worth more to me (and to Him) than to suffer needlessly through faulty logic, emotional magnetism, or personal preferences. No, I am bound and determined to follow Christ, and to do so means that I must lay aside all that is "me" and choose instead all that is "Him." In doing so, I will be well-blessed; my life will bear good fruit; and I will enjoy the sweet satisfaction of pleasing and honoring my Savior. Amen, so be it, thy will be done.

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