I’m not the best decision maker. I can’t even decide what I want to eat for a snack tonight.

I hate choosing, especially when both options have completely unknown results.

Maybe, it will be fine either way I choose.

But what if it’s not?

What if it’s not choosing between potato chips and carrot sticks?

What if the choice is between calm and tumultuous?

If it were that easy, we’d have no need to pray and ask for wisdom.

But doors aren’t often labeled “calm” or “tumultuous.”

In fact, tonight, all the doors look the same to me.

Through one door, I risk deep heartache and familial strain.  But I also risk a glorious new adventure in love and trust.

The other door is safer—but I risk deep regret and the suffocating what-ifs.

The Gibsons are on the brink of a massive decision.

These moments always grab my face and remind me of how young I am.

I’m still impulsive, still emotional, and I still care what people think.

But maybe those tools aren’t the worst for opening doors.

Maybe whatever naiveté or personality tendencies we have could help us choose.

Maybe we don’t have to set aside the ways we’ve been made in order to make sound decisions.  Maybe the irrational dreams aren’t ones we’ve authored in the first place.

But, we often force our faith to bow to the god of pragmatism.

What is logical?  What is the non-emotional, reasonable decision?

What protects my investment?  What preserves my current assets?

If the history of God’s people has taught me anything, it’s that the Kingdom makes as much sense as a divine king born in a feeding trough.  Everything’s backwards in the Kingdom.  Everything’s upside down.

In the Kingdom, seeing is something you do with your insides.  Believing is something you do when you’re feeling around in the dark.

But as much as the upside-down is where you’re fumbling through unknowns, it’s also where the incredible takes place: people without sight can see.  Dead people can live.  Dry bones receive life.

God rescues and restores.

Each of these doors we face has something in common: They’re not new doors.  The paint is peeling, you can see the remains of an Atari sticker or the name of a 70’s band etched into the wood.

No matter how confusing the journey can be, you’re not the first to walk down that path.

You’re not the first to face question after question and swim against the current of the unanswerable.

Lots of faith-legs have walked this way.  And faith-hands have pushed open these doors.  But the faith journey isn’t about the right door or the wrong door—

It’s about the practice of listening.

Listening to how you’ve been made, but also the upside-down things a divine King might ask you to do.

Like love a prostitute.   Or actually embrace a man with HIV who walks into your office.  Or open up your playgroup to someone of a different religion.

These are God-things.

And if choosing the door isn’t about you choosing well, and if it’s really about listening, then maybe the weight of the decision isn’t on us at all.

Maybe there is a Shepherd who is far more concerned about the sheep hearing his voice than the sheep are.

Maybe there’s a God who is committed to guiding us if we’re up for being led.

And pragmatism becomes as moot as compassion.

Because instead, we listen.

We rely on reason because listening is so hard.  Wrestling in angst and anxiety isn’t easy, but it’s nowhere near the challenge of waiting on direction—direction that often takes it’s sweet time to come to us.

And walking through well-worn doors doesn’t mean we choose the same ones others have chosen.  Moses walked a different path than John the Baptist.

But we have in common the difficult call to listen.

And then, in faith, we push open the door and walk.

 

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