Sunday, February 7, 2010

The one right path

I know what you're thinking, and, no, this isn't going to be about exclusivism vs inclusivism regarding salvation. It's a fascinating conversation to have, but, truth be told, it's never very helpful.

My question is about issues of living one's life. I have a problem with a relationship. I'll be purposefully cryptic, but I think I can get my point across.

What importance I should attach to a relationship that might draw me from the path I'm currently on? It would mean giving up, at least for a time, my plans and ideas and allowing myself to do something kind of carefree.

In a way, I'm asking myself if I should bind myself to the path I'm on or should I free myself for something new.

Given that I'm not old (as much as I wear "grandpa sweaters") and certainly not wise (though the beard certainly gives off that vibe), I haven't had a lot of experiences in being wild and free. As a youth, I was focused on the goal: college. And in college I was focused on the goal: grad school. Now that I'm out of college and have spent some time thinking about where I'm supposed to be / called to be, I'm realizing that I haven't spent much time not thinking about what I'm supposed to be doing.

So, after being all cryptic, what am I actually wondering?

Is there one and only one right path to take?

Surely the answer would be, "no," right? A life cannot be so strictly ordered, a human being ordained to one and only one path in life, right?

At times I'm not so sure. From childhood, not going onto college would've been seen as a huge mistake, something that couldn't be corrected. And now with the way I'm going, it feels the same way. If I don't continue this way, I will be deemed a "failure" for picking a path that isn't the expected and "correct" one.

I do understand how important it is to figure out where it is I'm supposed to be and what it is I should be doing. Wandering aimlessly is not the best position to be in. But what if the way I feel I should go (or at least seriously consider going) isn't where most everyone else thinks I should be going?

Could the life lived well in communion with God take many different paths? Could more than one of them be good and right for me?


Country Parson said...

It took Dianna and me several years of discernment to understand that WE were called to seminary and the priesthood. In seminary we met more than a few couples for whom that call was very strong for one and absent for the other. It was never a healthy situation and most of those marriages/relationships failed. If one is going to be in a life long relationship then calls must be discerned together.

mary said...

The romantic in me would say "follow your heart, damn the consequences"...but it sounds like your heart is being pulled in different directions. (Also, the romantic in me is unable to convince the rest of me of anything, so why should you even listen!)

God knows God's plans for you, and if those include being wild and free and in love, so be it. The only advice I'm qualified to give is to pray about it. And talk about your dilemma with the other affected parties. (I guess praying would be a part of that, too!)

ariel said...

I believe God can have more than one right path for you. It sounds like you want more than one thing, and that others have expectations for you... In the absence of direction from God, I'd try to forget what other people want, and look at what will serve you (and the kingdom) best in the end. Would you regret missing one more than missing the other?

And do you have to keep this post so vague? :) Some of us want some details!

Alice said...

Often times there are little detours along paths and they are really fun and sometimes you take a "wrong turn" that leads you to that one spot west of town where you can see all the windmills and it turns out to be a really good place to watch the sunset. And sometimes paths run parallel to each other and meet up later.

And anyway, wandering around not necessarily knowing where you are going is fun.

Bad Alice said...

I believe God will work with you on whatever path you take. I’m sort of on board with the co-create with God idea, rather than the God has your life mapped out from beginning to end and you just have to pray for that to be revealed to you idea. Something in you longs for a bit of freedom and playfulness, and I would heed that. I would rather repent than resent. Hmm, perhaps I’m not the best person for advice, because that sounds rather flippant, and I have no call to ministry that I’m trying to fulfill. Still, I think that if you live your life always with a strict agenda, always on the same road, you miss a lot of joy and can become dull and lifeless. It’s unbalanced.

Kim Stiens said...

I would do whatever one you can't do later. If it turns out to be both, well, you need better callings! ;) There's no reason not to have it all.