Choosing the Next Path

When was the last time you were at a crossroad in life?  Did you automatically know which path to take next?I'm at a crossroad of sorts.  For the first time in 10 years, all of my kids are in traditional school.  That means, I have both space in my calendar and space in my head.  Chris and I have known this day was coming and it's been fun to discuss what to do next.  It's like when we graduated from college, we went from having zero extra dollars to having a few extra dollars.  The question wasn't, "What should we do with our extra?"  Nope.  We had a whole list of things we'd love to spend our extra on.  The question was, "Which thing or things should we spend our extra on?

That's how I feel right now: Which things should I spend my extra time and energy on?  I want to purse HOPE and PEOPLE with reckless abandon.  But there are so many ways to do that.Here are the words on the signposts of my crossroad.

  • teach

  • mentor

  • assist

  • write

My heart is screaming, "YES!" to each path.   There is beauty and hope in each one.  The past six months have given me a desire to invest in people deeply and intentionally.  To take each day as the gift that it is and live it well.  I want to pursue my passions as my act of worship to the One who planted those passions as seeds in my heart.  To cultivate them and watch them grow fruit.  But which seed will grow best?  Which path should I take?I envy people who know their purpose with singular clarity.  They may wear many hats: Wife, Mom, Teacher.  But they also know which hat they love to wear most and would give up time with a gripping novel or a well-trod treadmill to wear it.   My heart doesn't know which love it wants to purpose most earnestly.

This is when I remind myself that sometimes God gives us choices and each choice will lead to a blessing.  No one choice is wrong.


In this week's The Next Right Thing podcast "Go Forward," Emily P. Freeman explains that we don't have to know where the path is leading in order to take it.  We don't have to see the destination, nor do we have to understand the path's value in order to take the first step.  So, for now, my next right thing is to pursue all four paths.   I know I can't do this forever, but for now, I will put my whole heart into each path and wait to see where they diverge.  Yes, it will mean more crossroads in my future.  I will have to leave one path to stay on another.  I know that.  But I'm not going to let that stop me from taking the first steps.

This blog is a step on one of those paths.  We will all have to wait to see where it leads.