The Crossroad

The sun sparkled in a mid-winter sky. Up to that point, the weekend had been perfect. Saturday had been warm and spring-like, but on this day, Sunday, a cold front was expected. We were determined to soak up the warmth while it lasted.

Our bigger group broke into smaller goal-oriented sections. A big group planned to tackled the entirety of the mountain, while my group focused on a two mile trail, the Blue Trail. And we did not need to run. We were content to gambol over the rocky hills, to climb the rocks with deliberation, to stop for instagrammable moments. Hashtag: having fun!

Turkey Mountain overlooks the Arkansas River from the west. No one new to Tulsa expects a crop of rocks to reach that high into the sky. It’s no Rocky Mountain range, but it’s our interesting terrain. Trails of varying degrees of difficulties and distances are clearly marked with colors. Blue. Yellow. Pink.

Blue, if you work it right, wends up a steep incline, switches back around a pond, and then meets at this wild four-way crossroad, all signs pointing to blue. Here, our group broke smaller, but before we did I had a moment to stand in the middle of that crossing and shake my head.

Each option we had was, technically, correct. We could literally not make a wrong choice. Each branch would lead us inexorably back to our cars.

I remember in college, in my earnest, know-it-all youth, hearing a speaker at a Christian conference say something that changed the very essence of my world view. He said:

“God doesn’t care who you marry. He cares that you make a faithful choice.”

Now, the speaker didn’t mean we could simply throw up our hands and throw our faith to the winds of chance. What he meant was that we can spend so much time parsing the distinct pros and cons to such an extent that we strangle the life out of decision. What he meant was that when we step with faith, the choices aren’t as black and white, cut and dried, right and wrong.

I have a young friend who is weighing after college options. She’s a mess, thinking through every possible outcome, balancing what she wants (or thinks she wants) with what she needs (or thinks she needs). She wants this job, but then, does she really? And she paces anxiously, awaiting answers she’s not sure she is ready to hear.

But what if there is no wrong way for her to go? What if all of her choices are faithful choices? What if we are living in a way so that all the arrows point back to the Blue trail, the parking lot, the way home?