Life is hard. Sometimes it wears us down. Sometimes we feel stagnant. We feel stuck. Sometimes we stare up into the night sky and wonder what we’re even doing here on this planet. If what we spend all our time and effort on is even worthwhile or makes any kind of impact on the universe. (Okay, maybe that’s just me.) Whether you frequently enter existential crises like me or feel completely secure in who you are, life is hard. It just is.
And sometimes we come to a crossroads and wonder if we should alter course or stay on the path that was originally laid out for us.
My family recently rewatched The Wizard of Oz. There’s a scene in the film where Dorothy is following the yellow brick road and comes to a crossroads. The yellow brick road goes left. And right. And straight on ahead. Each road looks to be the right path. But which one will lead her to the Emerald City? She is faced with a choice.
I resonate with Dorothy in her hesitation. My family and I recently came to a crossroads also. We could stay where we were and keep the status quo or we could shift gears and start a new adventure. Both choices were good. There was no right or wrong.
These types of decisions leave my head spinning with possibilities, doubts, fears, hopes and questions. Every now and then we need a fresh start. So we see that fork in the road and think, “Why not?” This was the case for me in my recent conundrum.
I stepped out in faith and left my church position to enter a new adventure. Now, I believe God’s call on my life to minister to children and their families is still alive and active. I try to be obedient to this calling but I also believe God has given me freedom to pursue this calling in different ways. Hence, the aforementioned crossroads.
I’ve been in vocational church ministry almost constantly for 15 years. I’m still adjusting to the new reality that that is no longer the case. After 15 years of leading youth and children in Bible studies, weekly worship, Bible schools, and various church activities, I am now embarking on a new kind of ministry: summer camp.
As the new year begins I will be starting a new position with Pinehill Baptist Retreat in South Carolina. I’m excited at the opportunity to minister to kids in the coming summers and provide a place for people to retreat from the world to enter the presence of God.
The timing of this new chapter in ministry is quite poetic. A new year often brings new hopes, new goals, new promises. New dreams emerge as a full year has once again passed.
This is a time to reflect on what has been but also to contemplate what lies ahead. We look behind and look forward. The coming of a new year for many wipes the slate clean and so becomes the perfect jumping off point on new things.
I’ve come to crossroads like this before. I’ve transitioned positions, homes, states, and in some ways lifestyles in the last 5 years alone more than a reasonably stable family should. We hope this latest change sticks. But even if it doesn’t, that’s not to say that my choice to follow the yellow brick road was the wrong one to take.
Life is hard enough without having to wrestle with second guesses and regrets. Seek wisdom and take the next right step. As James 1:5 says, “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him.” And once you receive that wisdom, act on it.
The yellow brick road is full of twists and turns. It is full of peaks and valleys. The important factor is not the topography of your road, but that you have the courage to travel it.
The Emerald City is waiting – so start walking.
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