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Difficult times compel us to stop and make an assessment of where we are in life.
- Are we achieving the ambitions and aspirations we had?
- Are our goals and plans to achieve stated in such a way that even when faced with unexpected obstacles, we have a clear direction on how to get there?
Such an evaluation can enlarge our vision. We may need to abandon unclear goals and replace them with new, more coherent, or articulate ones.
At these crossroads, we are given the opportunity to clarify what is really important to us so we can step out with a new purpose and ending in mind.
After the death of my husband, I was at a crossroads.
Everything had changed. I was required to make a new assessment of where I was and where I would go from here. New major decisions had to be made – a new direction and destination for my work as well as my life.
When I entered the world of authors and writers and wrote the following story, I questioned whether this was where I was to be. It was a turning point in my life.
Perhaps you are at a turning point where you are being asked to evaluate and consider, perhaps to start over, re-direct or choose a different path.
Path? What Path?
Before we take a trip, we have a destination in mind – we typically know where we are going. We have considered the best route, what we need to take with us and how to get there and back. We have a time schedule telling us when we are leaving and when we will return. We pack our bags, make reservations and step out the door.
The trip of life, however, isn’t quite so simple.
We venture out with a vague idea of where we want to go and end up wandering around in a vast desert stretching into infinity, devoid of markers or signposts, searching for a route to take. Or we take the first path we see, not sure where it is heading, just hoping it will take us to a fulfilling and satisfying life only to find ourselves at a dead end starting over – again.
God chose Joshua to lead the people of Israel out of the desert where they had been wandering for forty years and into the Promised Land. But as they stood at the banks of the roaring Jordan River, swollen with early spring rains, and looked across to the other side, it wasn’t a land of milk and honey they saw, but a land of giants, walled cities, undefeated kings and well-trained armies – in short, insurmountable odds.
Was this the pathway to their new life?
I’m sure Joshua, for all his bravery, might have asked, “God, is this really where you want us to go?”
As a new writer, I am entering a land of giants, a world of talented and gifted people who seem to have it all together; while I, on the other hand, struggle with putting down on paper my thoughts and ideas.
The pathway seems like sand and rocks and raging rivers, the obstacles as large as any giant army or walled city with few distinguishing markers. I’m not sure I would recognize them if they were there.
This land of writing and publication is already inhabited by men and women who are successful in their trade. How can I hope to compete? And I ask, “God is this really where you want me to go?”
But God sees far beyond the horizon.
He knows the path we are to take even if we can’t see it.
He gives us glimpses of the possibilities and potentials of what our lives could be if we trusted Him and stepped out in faith.
But the choice is ours: we can continue to wander around in our own deserts hoping to find the path to success or we can make a concrete plan of action that enables us to cross over into new territory.
As I enter my new world of writing, I am reminded of young musicians and athletes. It takes hours of practice and discipline before they can run the race or play with the orchestra. During those hours of commitment, it also takes the encouragement of patient and discerning teachers and parents to guide them. It takes the belief that with the dedication of an end goal in mind, they will reach their destination.
As I step out in faith, I reach out to others. Together we become a network of support for one another, encouraging, validating, uplifting, and sharing knowledge.
And when we lay our anxieties, fears, and uncertainties at our Lord’s feet, He gives us the strength, hope, faith, and courage we need. Together, we move forward and enter our land of Canaan.
Wherever you are in your journey through life, you can step back and assess where you are headed.
Is this where your talents and passions are leading you?
Do you have a definitive plan of action to follow?
If so, then you are creating your pathway to a successful outcome.