Life is full of decision both large and small. Often we wonder if we are headed in the right direction or took the right road. If you hang around my writing long enough you’ll hear me talk about “paths” and “journeys” I mostly mean this metaphorically and in tonights reflects you may see why.
Sometimes we make decisions that we later don’t feel right about or at the very least feel we made incorrectly…..but they still have positive outcomes despite the negative ones. So did you do the right thing or not? I may not get into that too much here today…what I do want to talk about is the incredibly circular way I learned to handle this when I was a christian (if this doesn’t apply to your christian experience thats okay, I’m speaking my own personal experience).
Knowing the will of God and living in the will of God were very important in the christian circle I was a part of. Often “the fruit of a situation would be used to support your opinion of if something was God’s will or not.
If things went well God was blessing you and you knew you were doing the right thing. Until you later changed your mind or your circumstances changed…then the Holy Spirit would reveal how things were going well to steer you of track, or how God was so good to you that he blessed you even when you were headed in the wrong direction.
If things were going bad then you knew you were heading in the wrong direction because God wants good things of you and you’ve stepped out from under his protection.
Of course things may just be going bad because you are doing the right thing so Satan is attacking to stop you.
Head spinning yet? I actually worked out the theology on this extensively a few years and maybe in the future I’ll give it a proper discourse and debunk. For tonights reflections though it’s easy enough to see how circular and circumstantial this reasoning is. It can lead to many bad decisions false positives and confusion.
Perhaps the Psalm says it best: the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Just because bad things come from a good situation doesn’t meant you went the wrong way and just because good things happen doesn’t mean it’s a good choice.
So how do we know? Life is organic, it happens. You can’t go back and alter it. I think we must strife to find the best in every circumstance and let good come out of everything. This is how you become your best self.
Perhaps it is enough not to judge whether the path is right or wrong and simply accept that we are on it either way. If you can do something better in the future then do that, if things are out of balance an in chaos the it’s time to evaluate: is it time to push on or time to alter your direction.
I used “the will of God” too shield myself from this difficult truth. If it out of my hands then I only had to play along and make the best of it. Perhaps this is why Sarte says he wishes there was a god because then he wouldn’t be faced with the reality of choices.
I am learning to ask myself how to make better choices…bringing life, love, compassion, and knowledge into the world and suppressing hatred, bitterness, and despair that might be caused by my deeds.
There is no omniscient plan: only choices. We are the stewards of those choices and how they impact the people and world around us.