Nothing’s More Personal Than…

Your dreams…Your passions…Your struggles…Your very purpose for existing.

What can be more personal than that?

It’s your journey.  You make it your own.  Some decisions you live to regret, while other decisions take you to new heights.  Regardless, every decision shapes your journey and imparts ripples that then touch the lives of those around us (and often the lives of those yet to come).  Even the case where you refuse to make a decision is actually a decision to do nothing.  A wonderful allegorical example of decisions along life’s journey is captured in the literary classic, “The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan.  I encourage you to read it if you haven’t already.

“The Pilgrim’s Progress” Christian-and-Apollyon illustration by H. C. Selous and M. Paolo Priolo in the Public Domain from Wikimedia Commons

I also recommend the article, “What Do You Do When You Don’t Know What To Do?” by Dr. Allan Schwartz.  I wrote the following on April 28, 2011, (using the moniker “Lion”) as a response to that article:

“[…] While I go about the process of finding my courage, I’m reminded to be grateful that I have a choice.  Even though I now have physical limitations that prevent me from becoming the firefighter that I dreamed of becoming as a child, I still retain the freedom to dream and to make choices in life.  Even if you feel like you have no choices, do not be deceived…You always have choices.  May you all have the courage needed to make the right choices, the good choices, the choices that bring life and joy into this world.”

Finding courage.  Some decisions require courage because of the sacrifice or the cost involved.  When you know what the decision must be, and yet you are unwilling to make it, that lack of courage (aka, “fear”) becomes the main ingredient in your soup of misery.  Am I willing to pay the cost that may be required?  For many years, my answer has been a firm “NO!”  But God hasn’t given up on me.

The decision I have been faced with for many years has been whether or not I’m willing to surrender my life to full-time Christian ministry.  I have ignored it, shouted at it, rebuked it, denied it, and have been ingesting a steady diet of misery soup all the while.  As of April, 2012, I finally surrendered and made that decision public.  I have come to realize that all the things that I’ve been holding onto (including my family) as excuses…as my arguments to God…must all be surrendered at some point anyway.  Our life is but a vapor (James 4:14).  I’m no longer willing to live with the regret of saying “NO!” to God.  I can’t tell you what the final cost will tally up to yet, but I have faith that it will all be worth it.

The journey so far has been full of darkness, loneliness, mistakes, miracles, blessings, and victories.  The journey ahead of me?  I leave that in God’s hands.  I just pray for wisdom and courage to make the decisions that honor God.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Keep those shoelaces tied!

—– Paul —–


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