Pulled in Different Directions

They scamper about my yard, carefree and lively.  These twin fawns have been a source of considerable joy, and a few chuckles, as I observe their antics.  For the most part, these young deer stick close to their mother, looking for food and watching for predators.  

What has been interesting to watch is what happens when something startles this young deer family.  The doe knows immediately to take shelter in the trees to keep her family safe.  Multiple times this season I have watched her take off quickly with one of her fawns following close behind her.  But one of the twins is a rascal.  For whatever reason, it consistently takes off in the opposite direction from its mother.  While the mother heads along one side of the fence, this little fawn heads around the other side.

I watch this errant little twin go back and forth along the fence, puzzled as to where the rest of its family has gone.  It takes some time before the truth sinks in – that they are separated and it needs to do something about that situation.

What makes me chuckle the most is the memories I have of my own set of twins.  I can remember multiple instances of heading outside only to have one twin take off in one direction and the other twin in the other.  I am torn – who do I chase after?  Inevitably it was usually my son who was the more adventurous one.  His sister was more likely to respond to a verbal warning to not go out onto the road.  Still, making the choice was always hard.  What if I erred and one twin was hurt while I went after the other one?

I don’t like being pulled in different directions where either choice is very plausible or important.  I am a pensive person who prefers to think before I act.  Yet, sometimes, no amount of preplanning can make the decision any easier.  

Our world presents us with many choices each day.  The challenge lies in prioritizing those choices.  What do you do when presented with multiple opportunities?

Some people’s answer is to say yes to everything and hope that somehow time will bend to fit the requirements of the tasks.  They tend to love the fact that they are in demand and often have the belief that certain things will not be completed without their intervention.

Other people wallow in indecision and never really commit to one direction or the other.  To them, the choice is overwhelming and they are so fearful they will make the wrong decision that they make no choice at all.

What is wrong with both these solutions?  Both dwell on us.  It’s the whole “me first” mentality.  On one side is the person who thinks they are indispensable and that things won’t happen unless they are involved. On the other hand, are those individuals who are so insecure about themselves that they are afraid to commit.

There is only one clear choice when being pulled in different directions – look to God.  He does not want us to be overwhelmed because we are overcommitted nor does He want us to be fearful and not commit at all.

God is there when we have choices to make – guiding us to make decisions that are pleasing to Him and healthy for us.  Our Heavenly Father knows we have limitations to the amount of time and energy we can give to tasks.  While He will not give us more than we can handle, He does often stretch us to do things that seem challenging so we will rely on His grace, mercy, and support to help us through.

The only fear we should be living with is a healthy fear as we stand in awe of our amazing God who created us and all things.  Our mighty God is there to sustain us.  He is there cheering for us – if we are willing to step up and get moving and get into the race.  He didn’t build us to sit on the sidelines, but instead designed us for active service.  

No matter which end of the spectrum you are on – hesitant to choose or choosing too much – God is there to provide direction and support.  He is there leading you to a healthy balance.  Yes, sometimes you are presented with multiple excellent opportunities.  That doesn’t mean you have to do them all.  Pray that God will lead you to the one choice that will be pleasing to Him and where you can serve Him with all your heart, mind, and soul.  

If you just can’t seem to make the decision between multiple opportunities and feel pulled apart as you try to decide, remember that God goes with you no matter what choice you make.  Sometimes we choose a path that isn’t the best, sure, but that doesn’t mean we cannot still go forward with God there beside us.  It is often in these challenging choices that God’s power and love are shown in even greater amounts as we rely on Him to sustain us.

When we are feeling pulled in multiple directions, we need to remember to keep God in the middle of our choices.  He promises to help us through, even when we make a poor choice.  He doesn’t necessarily relieve us of the consequences of poor choices but He leads us to a better way if we are willing to follow Him.  

Of course, in all of this is the fact that some opportunities are just not from God.  Satan is roaring around trying to pull us apart, both with indecision and over commitment.  The devil’s lies are rampant as he seeks to pull us into unhealthy choices.  Don’t play his game.  Unless you feel God’s peace about a decision, maybe reconsider the path you are choosing.

Many times in my life I have wished that God would just post a sign and tell me which way to go for certain.  I have been in a muddle, kind of like when my twins would take off in opposite directions.  I have two very good opportunities presented to me – how do I decide?  The anguish of indecision has been very real in my life at times, sad to say.  I want so badly to do what is right and so I turn decision making into a major stressor.

I need the reminder that James 1:5 gives:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (NIV)

The wisdom that God gives is not just needed information.  Biblical wisdom includes insight into the situation from both a practical and spiritual perspective.  The cool thing is – God is willing to “generously” give us wisdom.  The key lies in the fact that we need to ask for it.

Trust Him to walk with you.  God’s support is immeasurable and sure.  

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