Sunday, March 25, 2012

Though None Go With Me


I realized recently that I have a fear of standing alone.

And by recently I mean yesterday.


I'm primarily an outward processor. Rather than sit and ponder something for hours on end, then coming to a conclusion, I work out my thoughts in dialogue with others, bouncing ideas off of them as if I were the leading rebound philosopher in the league.

In addition, when faced with a difficult decision, it can take me months before I make a choice, because although I'm an outward processor, I do think over things long, hard and prayerfully.




When I've made my decision, though, it's usually final. I stick to things. I'm committed.

And because of that, one of my biggest fears is screwing it up...I'm afraid of doing the wrong thing. I'm scared that somehow, there's one correct choice and dozens of wrong ones. I think that if I do the right thing, everything will work out, and there will be no shortage of glory and cupcakes. But if I do the wrong thing, everything will go to crap-filled bran muffins...

I have a fear that as I take my time, making a decision within the context of community, that once having made my decision I'll be stuck with it, only to realize that my community of friends have either backed out, or changed their minds...and there I'll stand, looking like a jackass in front of everyone, God gazing down, shaking his head in shame...

That's one of the things that make this decision about the next step in our lives so tough - what if I make the wrong choice...? What if I screw it up? We are in a unique place I our lives. I only have one chance to get this right. What if I jump out over the ledge, with Ferial following behind, only to look down and realize that we're diving headlong, not into a deep blue pool of providence, but into a pit of despair.

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Here's the thing though: God's not like that. When Jesus left the earth he promised his disciples that he'd send the Holy Spirit to live with them and in them as a helper and guide. He is the Good Shepherd, whose sheep trust his voice and lack no good thing. God says, "I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future." (Jer. 32:11). He promises to never leave us or forsake us.

And I will stand alone, if necessary. I made that commitment more than 10 years ago. I sang out a declaration, "Though none go with me, still I will follow. Though none go with me, still I will follow. Though none go with me still I will follow. No turning back. No turning back."

When it's all said and done, though, I'll never be left standing alone, not really. For Jesus says, "and lo, I am with you alway, even until the end of the age."

No turning back.
No turning back.



**Image source: http://darrinvaughan.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/walking20alone.jpg

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