Crossroads and the Big Decisions

God’s way, I've come to realize, is transition. 
Oh, it feels different each time. Sometimes change hits us abruptly, with no warning whatsoever. Or it can be subtle, like the first signs of fall after a long summer. Transition can serve as a boot camp of sorts, preparing us for some bold new adventure. Sometimes mostly outward circumstances change. Other times big internal shifts take place, impacting core values, identity and purpose.

One thing is certain: transitions lead us to the crossroads of decision.

Recently, on the heels of a major transition, I came across this invitation from scripture:

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
— Jeremiah 6:16, NIV

Take Time to Stand…

Transitions are opportunities to stand between the juncture of two or more paths and consider the options. A posture of stillness prepares us to see what we may otherwise not see and to make navigational adjustments while it’s not too late. Fools rush in, so the saying goes. Nonetheless one part of me wants to heed the world’s urgent call to action, “Don't just stand there, do something!”
Standing, in one sense, is stopping long enough to make sense of it all.
Our fast-paced culture tends to downplay the need for disciplines like stillness and solitude. But what if there is more heroism in the act of standing than we would dare to think?  When we take time to put on the brakes and to stand at a crossroads we are more likely to end up in a good place when it’s all said and done...

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.
— Ephesians 6:13, The Message

Look Again. What do you See?

There is more to the process than simply stopping. It's possible to stop and stand at a crossroads yet miss the message. So, what can we do? 
During a recent transition, being presented with another big decision made me want to crawl into a hole. The wisest counsel I received was to pause, to give myself time and space to breathe. Difficult transitions can be complicated by decision fatigue, “the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session (or in my case season) of decision making.” (Wikipedia). During these times why not linger a bit at the crossroads, allowing God’s unhurried wisdom and counsel to take over?
When we pause long enough and observe closely, we may find ourselves moving beyond merely looking at the fog and thus raising the stress level; we actually may begin seeing options and opportunities through the fog!

When it’s time to ask… 

At some stage of transition we need to inquire. We need to ask for clarity, for direction.
Asking well requires the art of a waiting with a listening ear. Do you ever get annoyed when someone asks you a question but doesn't wait for the answer? My wife can tell you that I have a tendency of not stopping long enough to hear the answer to the question I'm asking, especially in decision fatigue moments. Thankfully she gives me more patience and grace than I deserve.

Ancient paths are the good ways. They are proven and trustworthy. but they are not necessarily the most well-worn. It takes courage, discipline and a sense of adventure in order to trod these paths (for more read Hebrews 11 in the Bible).  Are we stopping long enough and with intentionality to see the best options, the God-honoring ones? 

Walk in it…

Take it…the road that is. At some critical juncture we must heed the call to action. What will it take to walk in the path you are now destined for? Through the process of standing, observing and asking, you can reach the clarity and confidence to pursue new, unfamiliar paths. A personal guide awaits us,

But I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way, who can’t see where they’re going. I’ll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don’t fall into the ditch. These are the things I’ll be doing for them—sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute.
— Isaiah 42:16, The Message

What do you need to move forward? Courage? Accountability? Rest?


Believe it or not, this is really the goal of the whole process…to enter into rest, a quiet, unhurried confidence which has learned the secret of walking with the Creator through times of transition.

Moving forward at a crossroads is something that can be greatly enhanced by working with a life coach specializing in transitions. Need a supportive partner to journey with you in transition or know someone who does? Contact us HERE.