Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I --
I stood there for a while and looked at them.
The wood wasn't yellow, actually, not for me. It was green. Green and verdant, and mist hung in the air, but a shaft of sunlight slanted down from on high and didn't cut the mist, no -- it illuminated the particles of moisture that hung in the air, until they were like diamonds.
The paths took two different directions, but who's to say they didn't converge later? I wouldn't know -- it was further down the path than I was willing to try.
Equal parts wear and tear, they were. Equal in the number of ruts cut into the sweet-smelling earth. One felt like freedom and the other like should, and I couldn't tell which was which.
See, the difficult thing for me is in deciding what I want.
At first I stamped my foot and I balked. I cried. How was I supposed to know?
But I stood there for a while, and the mist curled around me, and hung before my eyes and got into my eyelashes, which I'm sure made me look either like an elf princess or a drowned rat (my hair gets really flat in humidity).
I sat down at the fork in the road, in the middle of the path, then I scooted over to the side of the Road and put my back against a tree.
And then I closed my eyes and went to sleep.
I was content to simply rest.
Decisions are hard, y'all.
When we find ourselves at a fork in the road, it can be hard to know which is the path of life.
What I'm learning these days is that there are no right answers, not really, in situations like this.
I'm such a believer in black and white, such a believer in the Right Answers -- but I'm learning that now, where there is no moral imperative involved -- well, how can we -- how can we expect there to be any kind of a right answer?
There is no right or wrong, no white or black: there is simply gray and decisions to be made.
I write this on a day that clouds hang outside the window. It looks like rain, and lines are all blurry. How very appropriate.
Those clouds are how I feel inside. Not depressed, not cloudy. But blurry.
And for once, I'm content to be in-between.
I'm content to not know.
Do you know how unusual that is for me? I, Sara, who has to know everything every time. Who likes to plan her life out down to the moment.
Oddly, I've felt my spirit push back against planning this year.
When I was in my undergrad I would plan and plan and plan my days, down to the minute, the minutiae. Every second of my life was programmed and planned. But this year I've felt myself rebelling. I have some boundaries, some clearly delineated starts and ends, but mostly? Mostly I'm just allowing myself to breathe. Allowing some wiggle room in my schedule. I have certain things I HAVE to do -- work, work out, eat, all those normal human things, and I write every day, too. But there are other things that have some flux. My reading. Whether or not I take a nap. There are not clearly defined lines on my life, and I have flexibility, and I love it.
Routine is good, and there was a time in my life I thought I would internally collapse if I didn't have a very set routine. I WOULD, I think, internally collapse if there was no constant in my life. But.
I feel like I have room to breathe.
We are free.
We are free to wander and not make decisions right this minute, because that's basically where I'm at (to use terrifically awful grammar, but a Southernism that I'm kind of proud of).
I'm content and almost happy to wander around in the mist, to sit with my back against a tree between two paths, and ponder and meander like a cow chewing her cud. Slow and methodical and whimsical.
Adventurers wander. We take new paths. We do what is unexpected of us, we take the path that others might not think of -- not even the road less traveled by, but the one that hasn't occurred to anyone before.
Because we've had a taste of freedom, had a taste of the unexpected, the small thing that Jesus has offered to us that others might not see. We've tasted the mustard seed.
And we go, Oh. That.
And we put a foot onto the Road, and there is no telling where we might be swept off to. We might as well be walking on water for all the stability we feel like we have.
(So many metaphors. I love it.)
No, we do not feel like we have a leg to stand on, or solid ground. We recognize the infinite changeability of the life we have chosen --
We also see Jesus in front of us, and somehow the water beneath our toes (because we're obviously walking barefoot, because duh) solidifies. Whether that's surface tension or not, who can say; we only know that our feet do not pass through the waves. We only know that miracles are happening, and not because of us.
We know that Adventure does not feel safe, but much like the Lion-Creator, it is good.
So we're a little bit afraid -- a little bit. We can feel it creeping up our rib cage, into our arteries, like tendrils (like that dark Spider-Man character in Spider-Man 3, you know what I'm saying?).
But then we look at Jesus, and while our fear is never eliminated -- spoiler alert, y'all: fear is never ever eliminated, never eradicated -- we realize that we don't have to pay attention to it.
Jesus invites us kindly into tension. To hold possibilities in both our hands and gaze not at them -- because then we'll make ourselves crazy -- but to look into His eyes.
He cups my chin and tilts my face to look up at His.
I think I have childlike eyes and kind of a baby face, so my self-image is of a young girl looking into the eyes of Jesus. I'll be 23 this summer, but I'm okay with that picture of a child. Because, You see, we are His own children. And He's got this, yo.
(I can be totally poetic and metaphorical one moment and say "yo" the next, and sometimes I joke that I'm too white and blonde to say "yo," but I think it adds flavor to my speech and to my writing. And I like to write the way that I speak.)
When Paul says that God has not given us a spirit of fear, he means that we don't have to pay attention to the fear that threatens to swallow us whole.
It means we can sit against the tree with the mist curling all around us, with a light rain falling on our hair and eyelashes and our bare arms, and we can be okay.
Everyone around me is asking me what I know.
I don't know, y'all. And for once in my life, I'm perfectly okay with it.
For once, I don't have to plan any further than this weekend.
I can have ideas and daydream and ponderate on what I might want from my life -- but I don't know anything, and I'm so okay with it it's ridiculous.
I'm meandering. I'm wandering. I'm considering all my options, but mostly I'm just waiting for the Holy Spirit to talk to me in the Inner Witness.
I can feel His whispers, His still, small voice. I can't distinguish yet what He is saying, but that will come. I know the answers are hidden somewhere in my gut, where I speak with the Spirit of God, but I cannot consciously discern them yet.
I'm not trying to.
This past Sunday was Pentecost, the day that the Spirit of God was revealed to the Church about two thousand years ago. The day He chose us in fire and blessing and tongues.
The Spirit is talking, and He doesn't always come in fire, and I can't always understand Him right away.
Wait, He says. You will see.
Oh, how I will see.
And maybe I will see in the mist, and maybe in the sunshine, but I gotta tell y'all: the mist is where I want to be right now.
I am resting. I am not in a hurry. For once in my young life, I am not in a hurry.
I am content.
And as I sit here in the drizzle between two very different roads, I know that this stopping point, this wayside post, is a resting place for me, a place of hope and possibility, and there is nowhere else I'd rather be.