Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Two Roads

I was watching an episode of "Who's the Boss?" (remember, old 80's/90's sitcom?) while crocheting last night (yes, I am that big of a dork) and it actually got me thinking about how one choice in life can completely change our path in such amazing and surprising ways.

The turning point, the tipping point, a fork in the road, stuck between a rock and a hard place, crisis, an ethical dilemma. We all have them. But, have you ever really stopped to think about those choices and all they lead to?

Movies like the Butterfly Effect and The Family Man have been made to explore the notion of how looking at the past and making changes would affect the present and/or future. Robert Frost's famous poem, The Road Not Taken, really addresses that key moment when you make the decision of which path to follow. I read a sci-fi short story once about a man who returned to prehistoric times in a time machine, but he stepped off the path and crushed one bug and it totally altered the course of the future for all life on earth. (Of course, this did require some willing suspension of disbelief as to how the time machine itself landing would not have altered the course...)

My point is, I think it's important/fascinating/overwhelming to think about all of the decisions we make in life and where they lead us. From the mundane decisions of taking a trip somewhere or what restaurant to eat at to the important decisions of where to live, what job to take, what major to pursue, etc. And, not only are we making decisions for ourselves, but for many of us, for our children. Freaking out during a storm could create in them a lifelong fear and introducing them to healthy foods may alter the course of their health as an adult.

And the most scary part of all--SO many times, we can't even predict the outcome of our decisions! I mean, I know that if I choose to take a nap instead of cleaning the house, the house remains dirty. Simple. But, what happens when it's not so cut and dried? What happens, for example, when choice #1 leads to A, B and sometimes C and choice #2 leads to C, D and sometimes B...I mean, this is a convuluded mess! How are we supposed to have enough foresight to make the right call? How do we not become so overwhelmed that we're actually incapable of making decisions? And, maybe more importantly, how control freaks like myself supposed to keep from hyperventilating with the weight of it all?

Thank goodness we have an omniscient, omni-benevolent being to share the load. And, if we're truly as trusting as we should be, to carry the entire weight. I have a hard time believing that God has chosen each of our decisions for us--where is the free will in that? (And, I don't know about you, but I rarely hear the voice of God when I'm debating over what to wear in the mornings.) But, I do believe he has an ideal path for our lives. I see it sort of like bumper bowling. He provides the bumpers for our life, and with prayer and an open mind and heart, we can do our best to stay in our lane. And, in staying relatively true to this pre-determined path, hopefully we can trust God and ourselves to keep moving. Now, if I could just decide what to have for lunch...

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