Thursday, 4 December 2008

Guided path

Every day I am faced by decisions. Some are larger and more important than others. Some are simple. Some need a lot of my attention. Some just need to be made.

I had never realized the potential seriousness of the consequences that result from each decision I make. I had never realized that there are generally three different courses of action to take, and that each choice has such a drastic result. Then I read this passage yesterday and the imagery stunned me into recognition:

"In meeting these challenges, spiritual submissiveness is fortunately and helpfully adroit - sometimes helping us to "let go" of things...other times to "hold fast," and still other times to use the next stepping-stone."

I imagined myself stranded in the middle of a rushing river, balancing precariously on a stone. The cold water courses past me and I am alone in a wilderness. I have three choices. The first is to "let go". I am not strong enough to swim against the powerful current, but if I let it carry me downstream, just around the bend and out of sight perhaps it empties into a calm, shallow pool. The second choice is to "hold fast". Perhaps instead of safety, at the end of the river is a plunging waterfall that would hurl me into danger. But if I were to cling with all my might to the rock, I could wait out the high season of water and eventually the river would recede to a depth which I could wade through to the shore. The third choice is to "use the next stepping-stone". Maybe this river always runs high and fast, and I would only expend all my reserves of energy by clinging to the stone. This would leave me with no choice but to try and leap from one rock to the next, up or down stream, and eventually to the riverbank.

I do not have the ability to see what lies beyond the river bend; I do not have the knowledge to determine if the high water levels might subside; I do not know if there are enough stepping-stones to lead me to the shore. Which decision should I make?

Each of these decisions is drastically different, each holding it's own path and consequences. Seeing this image in my mind so clearly speaks to me the importance of not relying on my own limited experience and knowledge to make the decision. Why would I want to? There is someone omniscient, with a much better grasp on life than me. Why do I put myself before God, trusting in my "arm of flesh" over his all-seeing eye? Why do I see spiritual submissiveness as a weakness, rather than a strength?

It makes no sense. And yet it is a lesson I'm still learning...

1 comment:

heather80 said...

Every day, I finding myself weighing these 3 choices, on quite a large scale. Often times, I find all 3 too overwhelming and choose, instead, to tread water.