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Decision Making

by: Caroline Hand //// January 29, 2021

“Stand at the crossroads and look; 

ask for the ancient paths, 

ask where the good way it, and walk in it,

and you will find rest for your souls.”

—Jeremiah 6:16

Imagine you’ve been walking down a wide dusty path for a while now. Trees line the sloping sides of the areas beside you. But the path in front of you is so clear, so distinct, so obvious that you’ve known your whole life what you’ve needed to do: walk on. You’ve never looked too far ahead or run to see what was coming up next because you’ve known: this is the path to life. You’ve never been tempted to see what was past the tree-filled hills on either side of you because the path, eventually, has always taken you where you’ve wanted to go, where you know you’ve needed to go. You’ve never felt lonely because you’ve always felt a gentle, loving presence next to you, supporting you, accompanying you.

But, suddenly, all at once, and like nothing you’ve ever experienced before, the one path you’ve been walking down forks into two. And, for the first time, ever, you stop in your tracks at the crossroads. Which way do I choose? You stand for a while, considering, and feeling like you’re waiting for something, but don’t know what.

And then, a tiny bird, colored brown and cream, comes and lands on your shoulder. As he perches there you watch his reaction, too, to the diverging path. He doesn’t seem to mind or notice that the path splits and that you must choose. He simply emits a tiny tweet and then dives and swoops and flutters along the path to your left singing a sweet song as he goes.

You are tempted to follow the tiny bird as your leader. But, then, you remember, the gentle, loving presence that always has been with you, always supporting you, always accompanying you. You close your eyes and breathe deeply, searching for the comforting presence. No response comes in the way you expect, so you begin to feel a bit discouraged. You blink your eyes open in defeat.

And there, in front you, you find one, single path. You close your eyes, rub them, and open them again just to make sure. And truly, the two diverging paths are no more. In their place lies a new path, but instead of what you’ve always known, the dusty dirt, in front of you is a path of pure gold.