Direction at the Crossroads
Do you ever wonder which way to go? Which path is the best to take? Which decision will lead to happiness, healing and prosperity? I do. I am at the crossroads again.
Once I pinpointed my location at the crossroads, I realized why I’d been feeling melancholy. Why I’d felt no spark. Why I seemed to be floundering the last several weeks.
The crossroads is a point at which a crucial decision must be made. We must choose a path among the options. Danger lurks at a crossroads. We may pick the wrong way, or even worse, get stuck at the intersection and become ineffective and unhappy.
The death of a mother, a father, a spouse, a child or someone else we dearly love may bring us to a crossroads. Our life has changed. Lots of decisions may lie before us. But we may come to a crossroads long after the death, which happened to me in the fall of 2014.
My mother had been dead more than four years. I wanted to write a book about my grief journey, but I was struggling. I had so much to say, I couldn’t say anything. I was stuck. I was afraid I couldn’t do the work God had given me to do. I even wondered if I had been on the wrong path.
Below are four reasons we may find ourselves at a crossroads. Identifying why we’re at this spot can help us know what direction to take next.
We’re in a rut. That was the case for me in 2014. I’d been doing the same things. Unhappy with the results, I kept doing the same things. I was like a hamster on a wheel.
We’ve got multiple options. This isn’t a problem if we’ve got a not-so-hot option. We know not to take that path. But if we have several good options, we struggle with which is best. Our grief colors our decisions, too, and we don’t trust our minds.
We’re afraid to make a decision. Yes, we should evaluate our options, but fear may paralyze us. If we aren’t careful here, our options may evaporate while we are camped out at the crossroads.
We’re standing at an ending. This is largely why I’m at a crossroads now. I sold my parents’ home in May after eight years of slowly cleaning it out. My grieving place, it’s where I felt closest to my parents. I’m at a crossroads in my grieving and in my ministry.
There’s a biblical prescription for indecision at the crossroads. It comes from Jeremiah 6:16. I’m going to apply this to my life as I seek out God’s direction. I’ll be weighing what writing projects to take on, what blog topics to address and what projects to say “yes” to.
“Stand at the crossroads” – Embrace stillness. Don’t be hasty with a decision. Notice we aren’t inactively sitting at the crossroads. We aren’t reclining in ease. We are standing at the ready.
“And look” – This is a place to watch and to learn. Be observant. We examine who we are, identify our passions and strengths, affirm our core values, and we scrutinize the options before us.
“Ask for the ancient paths” – What worked for my predecessors? What can I learn from them? What advice is available to me? What has God said in his word?
“Ask where the good way is” – We’ve been asking God for wisdom as we stand at the crossroads. God may deliver a very clear answer or may channel us through good sense or the arrangement of circumstances. A good indicator of a good way – a sense of peace.
“And walk in it” – We launch. We take decisive action and deliberate steps. Confident in the sense of peace, we give ourselves wholeheartedly to the path we’ve turned to.
“And you will find rest for your souls” – As we walk in a good path, peace gives us confirmation. We’re where God wants us to be. We walk in the path prepared for us. And it probably feels like “a good fit.”
The crossroads can be an exciting and a scary place to be. Depending in part on our temperament, we may focus on one or the other.
I’m challenged to concentrate on the promise God gives to his children. He came to give us abundant life – not necessarily material riches, but richness of spirit. I’ve not always picked the right path at the crossroads, but God always steers me to a place that enriches my soul and provides just what I need when I need it. He will you, too!
Stay tuned to see where the crossroads leads me this time, and please share your insight as you face your crossroads, too.
Where is your crossroads? In your career? In your ministry? In a relationship? What suggestions would you add to determining which path to take?
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