Thursday, March 22, 2012

What the hell was I thinking?

I’ve noticed that pert near every important decision I’ve made in my life has followed a pattern. I stew and stew and stew until I can’t stand it anymore. Then, I make up my mind and that’s it. I don’t turn back. Once I’ve decided, I stop worrying about making the right decision. From then on, I do everything I can to make the decision right.

My latest big decision came when I sold my house. I was living in a perfectly fine house. In fact, I loved it. The only thing I had against my house was the distance between it and the church where I work. The drive, which I frequently made more than once a day, was making me crazy. I started working from home more and more, and felt myself become disconnected from the community I was serving. As an introvert, it’s pretty easy for me to crawl into my cave and hide, and this situation wasn’t helping. So, I stewed about moving for a couple of years until I couldn’t stand it anymore.

When I put my house on the market last fall, it sold in a couple of days. The first person who looked at it made me an offer, which was my asking price, so I was elated. I had a closing date and went out and found a place to rent. Everything in my life had been stuffed into cardboard boxes. Then, at the last minute, the appraiser came in and determined that my house wasn’t worth what the buyer was willing to pay me. Ugh! I had a choice to make. Either take my house off the market and hunker down where I was for the long haul, or bite the bullet and pay someone to “buy” my house. I was sick. But I knew I had to move ahead, so on a very cold day in mid-November, I left my home in the burbs and moved into the city.

It was painful. In addition to the above-described financial beating, the heat wasn’t working in my rental home and I about froze for three weeks while we waited for a new furnace part to come in. The day after I moved, my dear Beetle blew its head gasket and I had to have it towed to the AAA garage, which left me without a car for several days until I finally bought a new one. And so the story goes. It’s been one thing after another and on more than one occasion, I've asked myself, “What the hell was I thinking?” But it's too late to change my mind now. Whether or not I made the right decision has become irrelevant. What matters now is making the decision right.

Does everybody go through this kind of angst when making a big decision? It sure would be a lot easier to stay settled where I am and leave well enough alone.

Leaving a place of comfort to venture into the unknown scares the bejeebers out of me. It involves letting go. It means opening myself up to… God only knows what! That seems to be the real problem. There are no guarantees; anything can happen. Of course, if I stay where I am, I pretty much know what will happen. It might not be great, but it’s not going to catch me off-guard. Is it worth the risk? Maybe that’s why I stew about decisions so much. I stew until I can’t stand it anymore, and then it’s time to move.

Through a lifetime of tough decisions, I’ve learned that things do have a way of turning out to be for the best, although they seldom turn out the way I would have anticipated. I’ve come to expect the unexpected. My life has been a wild adventure with one surprise after another along the way. I often shake my head in disbelief and mutter, “who’da thunk it?!”

I’d like to believe that God thunk it, and somehow, by putting one foot in front of the other, God is leading me where I need to go. I may misstep from time to time, but God doesn’t let me wander too far from the path I need to travel.

This spring I had a beautiful reminder of that in my new yard. When I first saw the house I’m renting, the leaves had fallen from the trees and winter had all but begun. After I moved, I wasn’t feeling really good about my decision and often wondered, “What the hell was I thinking?” But now it’s spring, and I’ve discovered that I’m living in a place of unexpected treasures: daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, wisteria, flowering dogwoods, and azaleas. Who’da thunk it?

That’s the way it always seems to work. Just when I start to wonder, “what the hell was I thinking?” I find an unexpected treasure that I could never have imagined from the place where I once was. And I know why I had to move.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful !