As is the case for most residents of the thriving metropolis of Seymour, my family must make the trek north to Columbus from time to time.
While we are huge fans of the local restaurants and retailers here in our hometown, there are occasions when we cannot obtain the products or services we require or desire here locally in Seymour. And to be completely honest, sometimes, we simply need a change of scenery. So off to Columbus it is, but which route should we take to get there?
In our limited experience over the past three years, there are three primary paths to Columbus from Seymour. They vary in duration and danger to one’s sanity and safety. My wife has her preference. I have mine.
One is more efficient, the other is more entertaining and neither is Interstate 65 (because that’s an accident waiting to happen). Neither path is wrong, though. They are just different. We could sit in the car all day and argue the merits and issues of each, but that puts us no closer to our desired destination. In the end, both will get us to where we need to go, but we have to go if we’re ever going to get there.
This strikes me as being profoundly true of so many different aspects of life in general. There are often multiple paths to lead us to where we want to be, what we want to do and who we hope to become. Some will be more direct and will get us there quickly without much difficulty. Others are long and winding and will allow us to see a great deal of what this world has to offer, both good and bad.
Whichever path we choose, it will be sure to have some bumps and bends along the way. Some are, in fact, better for us than others. We want to be careful to avoid dead ends. We each must make the best possible decision we can based upon our understanding, experience and advice from those who have been where we hope to go. At some point, however, we have to pick a lane and get going.
Here are a few thoughts as we consider the paths before us:
1.) You will never feel ready. You will never have enough money in the bank. You will never have enough education. You will never have enough life experience. Most of us, when facing a new challenge or opportunity, will perpetually feel unprepared. Even at times when I thought I was 100% ready, as soon as the proverbial rubber met the road, I hit unexpected bumps for which I was not ready. If we wait until we feel ready, many possibilities will pass us by.
2.) Some lessons can only be learned as you go. I have spent over half my life in school learning to do what I do right now. I am a huge fan of education and believe it to be incredibly valuable for preparing us for life, but the way things work in the real world isn’t exactly what we expect. There’s no substitute for experience. Make your move with open eyes and ears, understanding that there are some valuable lessons you need to learn on the way.
3.) You have to choose to make a move. No one can make you act on an opportunity. The old saying is true, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Friends, family, teachers, mentors, coaches, pastors and trusted leaders can point you in the right direction. They can even walk with you, but they can’t make you move. Ultimately, you have to pick a path and go.
As followers of Jesus, we have no reason to fear the future. Where we are going, God has already seen. Let us hold to the encouragement God offered Joshua as he moved out of the security of what he had known and into the promise and possibility that lay ahead: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
What are you waiting for? Make your move.
The Rev. Jeremy Myers is the lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Seymour. Read his blog at jeremysmyers.com. Send comments to [email protected].