How do you know when you are taking the next right step, the next turn in the right direction?
The light changes, your foot moves on the pedal and before you know it, you are facing another way.
But arriving at the correct arrows and heeding them? What if you didn’t get a choice and here you are?
As I think back to watching the cars go by today, I consider all of the decisions brewing. For some, it is a day like most others. For some, big turns are looming:
Will I stay with my partner? Will I look for another job?…
Will I have to consider putting my beloved pet to sleep?
Shortly after I was on the corner, I had to have just such a conversation with a church member. I often see this neighbor of Vantage Point out walking the family dog. Only with them for two seasons, the dog has come to mean so much–greeting them through the tough days, and cuddling up with them as they face health challenges. We pray he doesn’t have to make the big decision with their dog in the next couple of days as they go for a course of treatment. Today he can only continue on the path, acknowledging the heartache and uncertainty, and anticipating that as the next arrow would come up in the direction ahead, that he will have the strength to see it through. Love abounds. For the dog. For this family. For the neighborhood where they have gone on so many winding walks.
And we hold up hope for each arrows that you are facing out there. That is the thing about such intersections. Even if they feel so isolating and lonely, you are in the deep and profound company of others who are experiencing their own pangs that come with change and uncertainty. And even as we idle at the light, we breathe the same air. The sun pierces the sky and our eyes. We are in line until the arrow comes. And we launch where we are to go–each on our path–a part of a greater landscape of love and loss, of hope and healing, of right and left turns.
“If you have a big question mark hanging out in your soul, maybe one that has to do with faith, vocation, or relationships, perhaps your next right thing is to take a break from your frantic search for answers and look around for the arrows instead.”
-Emily P. Freeman, “Look for Arrows,” The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions,” Revell: 2019.
Pastor | Kittamaqundi Community Church | Columbia, Maryland