I can be terribly indecisive. Giant menus put me into a cold sweat, and that's after the trauma of choosing a restaurant, deciding whether to drive, bike or walk, and what to wear. There are four big yellow squares on the bedroom wall where I once tried out some paint swatches, became paralyzed at the thought of choosing one color for the entire room, and then left a three year (and counting) monument to my indecision.
Tonight I have a decision weighing down that is slightly more significant than choosing colors or ordering dinner. Tomorrow is the deadline to decide if I would like to repeat the toughest, most stretching & challenging (& possibly awful) experience of my life. Or another way of saying it could be that tomorrow I decide whether I get to live out a life dream & return to something I am deeply passionate about. It's funny how those things go together, isn't it?
There is something about the red dirt of Africa that just gets under your skin-- under your nails, in every little nook & cranny. You love it, you hate it; you can't wait to leave, you need to go back. It's beautiful & painful, makes you want to laugh & cry, scream & bury your head in the sand.
Should we go back? The question has been haunting us for months now, and tonight it seems to echo, demanding an answer. The reasons to go are compelling, heart wrenching, exciting, and all seem to line up. The reasons to stay are sensible, grounded, comforting and desirable.
When we set off a year ago to lead a group of squirrely college students into a refugee camp 30mi South of the Sudanese border, we were sure. We knew that God wanted us there, that we were following Him, and that whatever happened, we were doing the right thing. We said that we would never want to do something like that without the same assurance.
And here we stand, at the crossroads, waiting for the writing in the sky.
As I lay on the grass in the park today, praying for guidance, the wind blew the clouds into big arrow shapes-- pointing away from the City, and roughly in the direction of Uganda. So, I suppose that if we were looking for writing in the sky, that would be our answer... but somehow I don't feel entirely comfortable basing my decision on cloud shapes.
The question is: What do we do when the reasons are equally compelling both directions? We've prayed, we've fasted, we've sought direction, wisdom & guidance. We've searched our hearts & desires (which seem to flip flop about 3 times a day). Little coincidences pop up that seem like signs, situations seem to line up, but they are never definitive.
The feeling is not unlike standing at the counter of a restaurant, skimming the menu as the line piles up behind you. You know you have to make a decision, but nothing pops up. At that moment, I usually blurt out the first salad that my eyes lay hold of. As the line piles up, though, I feel strangely at peace. I've done all I can do, and although the decision is weighty, knowing that God brought us through the hardest experience of my life once before helps give me peace as I face it again.