When I was considering changing careers from executive management to ministry I struggled with landing on a solid decision. I flipped and flopped on the decision over the course of a few weeks and just desired and prayed for a ridiculous amount of clarity. One night my wife happened to run across a devotion from 2009 while cleaning out a bookshelf. It was a paper two month devotional and when she saw it her initial thought was to throw it away. She opened it and when she flipped through the pages she noticed a small article that asked “How do you discern where God might be calling you to serve?”. She read it and knew that I should probably read the devotion for May/June 2009. She tucked it next to my pillow on our bed and didn’t mention it to me at all. When I came home from work, exhausted, I opened it up and read the following excerpt:
“How do you discern where God might be calling you to serve? Whenever you are faced with a vocational fork in the road, take the path that has the shadow of the cross. When we take that path God walks with us and supports us in ways we could never have anticipated”
It’s amazing that a small paper devotional that was six years old, stuffed in a shelf and ready to be thrown away suddenly showed up just by “chance”. Many times what I really want is the entire playbook – meaning – I want God to send me the entire plan, the right decisions that I should make and what the outcome would be if I chose His plan. I was looking for certainty, for a safety net and for a clear message and getting frustrated when I didn’t get that clarity. Looking back I now realize that there were several small messages, like the paper devotional, that pointed me to the right decision. Maybe if we got the entire playbook we would run away scared? Maybe we just need those small hints that continually help us to choose the path with the shadow of the cross.