I recently made a big decision, to leave my much-loved job, and open up some space in our family life to spend time with our daughter as she begins school, to be available for my parents a bit more (although they live a few hours’ drive away) and to create a bit of space to play with art again.  It was a difficult but ultimately very releasing decision to make, although I’m now in the weird hinterland of ‘working out my notice’ and finding myself spending odd minutes rummaging around the shelves behind my desk at work and filtering out ancient catalogues and reports, half-started projects and unfinished drafts of ideas.  Our recycling bin is getting well-used.

Yet it’s hard to make decisions, about anything.  Today I was offered a chance to do something exciting in the autumn, which I’m now straining at the bit to do.  I have lots of questions, lots of thoughts, but mainly I’m wondering – is this something to spend my newly -released time on?  Is this going to be a distraction from those carefully thought-out intentions, or a fulfillment of them in someway?  I look forward to mulling it over for a little while.

But how funny when, tonight, just now, as I read another devotional from “God 360” this was the closing quotation:

I have not lost my way – it is just that so many ways open before me that sometimes I hardly know which way to choose.  To decide for one is to decide against another.  I never imagined it would be this hard.  Now you know.  The higher a person’s call or vision, the more choices are given them.  This is our work in creation: to decide.  And what we decide is woven into the thread of time and being forever.  Choose wisely then, but you must choose.

-Stephen Lawhead, Merlin

I remember the year before I turned 30 was also the year I decided to study a post-grad in Community Education.  I distinctly remember sitting in a minibus talking it over with a colleague as we waited for the children we were looking after that afternoon to arrive (we worked for an afterschool club).  My words to him were something along the lines of ” I really want to study this, but I’m going to be 30 soon.  If me and my husband want to have a family now would be a good time to do it….but I wouldn’t be thinking about doing this course for another few years then.  It’s like choosing one option closes down the possibility of the other…”.  Of course what ultimately happened was I sort of got the best of both, I got to study and fall in love with community education, and 3 years later had my beautiful daughter.  But I couldn’t have known that and to choose to study comm ed felt like the most serious, ramifications-through-life decision I ever made.  Most of the time decision-making is about being brave and simply going for it.  To stand and look at the doors available to you and avoiding a decision is to stand still and to never get to live a life fully.  Safety is not everything.

Note to self: read this post again (and again) the next time a decision looms.