“Is the answer left, right, up, down, or something I have not considered?”
As choices present themselves, I find myself struggling to see, communicate, and help others take a decision. Across multiple situations, communities, and initiatives, the most optimistic answer I can give you is “mixed”. While I can see that my intent is to positively influence the right decision, I also see the results reflecting agendas, bias, and aspirations.
I am reminded that the best plans of women and men, even working together, do not always produce our best. Reminders include the following.
Intent is an interesting reference point that often provides insight into the background. One finds the story lines in actions and the results that follow. One adds color and texture. The other is the heart of our paths and the destinations we aspire to reach.
In the shadow of our intent, the decision we take will lead us to a destination. This destination is a singular point on a longer journey. We may think we are heading to town only to discover we are in the country, just like a people in an old story when they took one decision and “then they linked up with Baal Peor, attending funeral banquets and eating idol food.” (Psalm 106.28) I doubt anyone thought s/he was headed for the destination that ended up as their reality.
As open minded as you or I might think we are, at best I am partially aware of the preset views and bias that shape the way I see the future and the options I have. Partially blind, I consider the present and the opportunities before me. Limited to what I can see, consider, and understand, I confidently embrace what I think is the best choice.
In the rush to act, I forget to check the landmarks and milestones along the way. Each is an indicator of my true direction. Although I know ignoring them is risky, my endless confidence propels me onward.
As I consider the past and the present, three words stand out; rest, reflect, and reconnect.