It is not so much the path upon which we find ourselves that matters, what matters most is how we choose to walk the path. In this we accept the path’s reality, we embrace God’s sovereignty, we rejoice in redemption… and we keep walking out our place in life.
[shareable]It is not so much the path upon which we find ourselves that matters, what matters most is how we choose to walk the path.[/shareable]
What do you do when you have no choice? We give a lot of thought to choosing the right path, but how do you live joyfully when you cannot choose your path?
When we miss a turn our GPS declares it is “recalculating”. When we miss a turn in life, life is not over, we (or God) recalculates our path based upon the best or only route from our present location to our destination. We cannot go back and start over, our life must “recalculate.”
My life has been most affected, not by the times when I had a choice and made the wrong one, but by the times my path and direction changed and I had no choice in the matter. When the single road I was walking turned dark, there were no alternate paths. There were no forks or crossroads. I could “quit” or I could keep going, but another path was not an option.
So, since this is a reality, how then do we joyfully move forward when we’ve been offered no choice?
Accept the Reality of the Path
As I write this we are in a presidential campaign season in which I hear many saying there is no choice with which they are comfortable. To call something godly that is evil is no solution. We lose a piece of our soul when we do it. We may not have the choice we want, but we need to acknowledge our dilemma, call it what it is, and make the best of it.
When we lose a loved one to death it is irreversible. Our lives must “recalculate.” Acceptance of the path is a part of healing. The ignorant platitudes doled out by well-meaning people in attempts to placate my grief did not help. In a progressive way, I had to acknowledge the stinking reality of the situation before I could find wholeness.
Yes, we do have to find ways to come to peace with what has happened, or the stinky choice made for us, but I need to acknowledge the situation as stinky so I can move forward in the reality of the situation. We must eventually overcome denial.
Sincerely Embrace the Sovereignty of God
This is where joy enters the equation. Yes, joy. We have committed to living a joyful life. I have spoken much about the decision to believe that good things will happen in the future that would not have happened had the bad stuff had not happened. This is not a Pollyanna-ish declaration. I believe in the sovereignty of God. I believe God has a plan for my life. I believe I’ve messed up His plan more than once, I will probably mess it up again, and that he has recalculated a number of times to take me from where I am to the desired destination.
I will trust God’s sovereignty and keep going with a belief that my path leads me to a place I need to be. I will live joyfully in spite of the stinky stuff, because I do believe and trust in something bigger than myself. Believe me, there have been plenty of times I have figuratively spat in the face of such “happy talk”, but finding my bearings, with my eyes wide open, I can actually see the progression of the path and how it takes me to all the right places.
Here’s the thing… you might be at a place in life where all you can see is the sorry path you’ve been given, that’s okay. Since it is the only path you’ve been given, I encourage you to keep walking, keep going, keep trusting, keep yielding to the “recalculation” of God, and keep your eyes open, because you will find signs along the way that your path is going to actually take you to a good place.
Believe the Path is Redeemable
The most painful things I’ve walked through were not my fault. I did nothing to cause them, they were just part of the journey. But, I’ve also walked dark paths that were a mistake brought upon me by poor choices. This is common. We made decisions that led to unintended consequences, and now we have no choice but to walk the path we forged.
And what about compound complex paths? Like walking a path of grief and compounding it with subsequent poor decisions made in the fog. I know what I’m talking about.
Again, “recalculation” is a sovereign act in which we start where we are, work through the stuff, and move toward the desired destination. Redemption is atonement for a mistake or sin. The entire story of God is one of reconciliation and redemption. Without redemption all of us would be irrevocably lost.
When I have no choice but to walk the path I am on, I rejoice in the reality of redemption that redeems that which should have or could have destroyed me, and transforms it into a good thing.
The beauty of having no choice is… well… we don’t have to make a choice. Resignation to reality has a way of leading us to a summit that only adversity can offer. Small consolation in the depths of a terrible path, but it is hope for a good place.
Remember, It is not so much the path upon which we find ourselves that matters, what matters most is how we choose to walk the path. In this we accept the path’s reality, we embrace God’s sovereignty, we rejoice in redemption… and we keep walking out our place in life.