For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. –Ecclesiastes 3:1
Our family is in the season of college visits and decisions with our daughter, Evelyn. I am continually shocked at how much more college costs today than it did when I went to college. Of course, a lot of other things have changed in the last 27 years as well. I do remember the nervous excitement of visits and decision making and eventually leaving for college. I also remember the hard decisions of choosing one college over another because the cost of one was simply too great.
Throughout our lives we make a lot of decisions. Some are easy and, of course, some are very difficult. And yet, we have a promise from God to be with us in the decisions we make. We pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit as we try to discern what is right. And, we recognize the forgiveness we have in Christ Jesus when we make the wrong choice.
What I have learned in my life is that God can take our less than favorite choice and do something amazing with it. Both Sarah and I attended our second choice colleges because they were affordable. And, had either one of us made a different choice, the likelihood of us meeting would have been reduced to zero.
It was at Augsburg College in Minneapolis where I met Janet Grant who became a director at Holden Village and so I spent the winter between college and seminary at Holden. It was at PLU where Sarah took a J-Term class that brought her to Holden Village and our paths collided. And, as they say, the rest is history.
Hindsight, of course, can bring a new perspective to the decisions we have made. But, we can’t rule out that the Holy Spirit may be nudging us in a certain direction because of all the possibilities that lie ahead. What season are you in? What decisions are you trying to make that you are hoping for clarity and guidance? Can you look back on the hard decisions and see how the path you ended up taking may just be better than the path you didn’t take? As you face a decision, can you be open to where the Holy Spirit might be leading you?
When I lived at Holden, we prayed the following as people left the community:
Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God’s Peace, Pastor Steve