Archive | January, 2017

Building Roads

7 Jan

dsc_0238A couple weeks ago our family was playing the board game Catan. In it the players build roads, towns, and cities to get enough points to win.

I had drawn a card to build some road, and I said “I’ve got road to build but I don’t know where I want to go.”

In the context of the game, I was needing to figure out what my next strategic move was to best my opponents. But that phrase stuck with me.

All this road and I don’t know where I want to go. Kinda sounds like a country song.

But there is some hardcore truth in there too. Often I hear in spiritual circles to follow God, spirit, guidance etc. Yes, do that. But what happens when that becomes an excuse to not make any choices? When that becomes the reason we don’t set down our piece of road and commit, at least for the length of that piece of road?

Just at the beginning of the year we have a whole bunch of year in front of us. Maybe we know where we want to go, but maybe we only kinda sorta know. Maybe we are drifting in the sea of unknowing.

But just like me deciding where to put my road, a decision has to be made (or the folks you’re playing with start to get annoyed).

I think too often folks get caught up in the potential permanence of getting stuck in a decision, and that it will be the final answer for ever and ever so they stay put and stagnant, which is just another way to be stuck. But just like me deciding where to put my roads, there is more than one way to figure out what to do.

I can’t count how many times I have talked to someone getting out of a relationship and their bafflement of tolerating a certain behavior. I always say, well even if you don’t know exactly what you do want, at least you know what you don’t want! The clarity of knowing what you don’t want is an excellent step in the right direction. Because when you know what you don’t want, you have narrowed the left over choices. Yay!

I firmly believe there is a time for rest and a time for action, taking time to get centered, clear, and confident is essential. But what if the grand revelation you’re waiting for to take a bold step isn’t a blinding light on the road to Tarsus, or an apple falling on your head. What if it’s your barista saying something off-hand that sparks an idea? What if it’s noticing there isn’t a solution on the market for a need you have? What if it’s remembering ‘I’ve always wanted to do _______’ from your list of dreams when you were 8 years old.

Put down that road! Take the first step. That’s not saying that every idea will be THE idea, but it may get you to the crossroads you need to be at to see your real destination. Or it may take several more twists and turns to get on a road that make sense. And even when you do, it can still change. When I look at the various experiences, friendships, jobs, etc that have been a part of my life, in the moment they may not all seem to fit. But, when taken from the perspective of where I am now, I see how they all made me who I am now and gave me the skills I needed. By learning what was a ‘no’ I moved closer to what was a yes. Leaps of faith proved the power of following my calling. Relationship/friendship mistakes taught me how to be a better friend and partner. All those roads got me here. My dear friend Rev. Jennifer Holder said in a sermon many years ago, “I could have come no other way .”

That has stuck with me because it reminds me to have patience with thedsc_0243 silly choices I made in the past because they made me who I am. I don’t wait for the perfect moment, because the journey of the rest of my life starts now.

So I boldly lay down my road, sometimes I’ll be more pleased with the results than others, but I won’t sit here with a free roads card in my hand not deciding where to put them.

I got places to go.