As a child, whenever I heard this adage, I’d always wonder why a fork would be in the road.
My little kid mind couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to use a fork that had been outside. Mom would tan our hides for taking her silverware outside –it didn’t stop us because, well because spoons were good for digging in the dirt 😉 — so why would it be okay to take forks outside. I stayed confused a lot as a child.
Alas, as I grew up, once my mind got old enough, mature enough, I finally understood the true meaning. I finally understood it wasn’t figuratively, literally a fork in the road, but a decision, but, not just any choice, rather a difficult choice. A choice that would probably change your life instantaneously. Sadly, it’s not a decision such as what to wear on a date night, more like moving your family from one state to another or getting a divorce. For instance, a husband and wife live in a small urban area with their four children. Dad has a top-notch job that he’s had forever and a day, good pay, benefits, and seniority. He’s happy with the job as it has supported his family for many years. His wife is part of the women’s club at church, she volunteers at the local library 3 days a week, and teaches an aerobics class 2 days a week. Their four children were born in this area, all have started school and are now in junior high and high-school. The family is established and connected…..you get the picture. And I’m sure you know where it’s headed 😉 For whatever reason, dad loses his job and the next job he finds that’s worth anything would require relocating his family.
He has reached a fork in the road. Yes, it may sound easy…just take the job friends tell him, everyone tells him. Except his wife who is scared of starting over. Except his children who are angry about starting a new school, leaving their friends.
Story aside, forks in the road, difficult choices, although hard to make, could have the most positive outcome. The fear comes with the not knowing. Many options are available, but a person has to find which path to take. And yes, lots of people want easy so many may choose the path of least resistance. Personally, I’d want the road less traveled, but that’s just me. However, no matter which ‘fork in the road’ a person faces in life, there are ways to make the choice a bit easier.
- know God: have you prayed? Have you asked for direction from God?
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6
- know yourself and your family: knowing and understanding yourself/your family allows you to determine how to pick up the pieces, where to start.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. – James 1:5
- know your finances: can your finances support one decision, all decisions that each fork represents?
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19
- know your goals: what do you want at this point? where do you aspire to get to? did your goals change?
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. – 2 Chronicles 15:7
- know your options: research your choices. look at the many options and weigh the advantages against the disadvantages.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
A person could float blindly through life, depending on mere luck to help establish said life, just for the fun of it. However, this is not always feasible, especially if there are dependents in your midst. One exciting, yet fearful aspect of coming to a fork in the road is change. Something new. The possibility of starting over can be scary, but exhilarating. A person gets a chance to try something different, to open a whole new chapter of their book.
Life is a scary thing. You just don’t ever really know where it will lead. You don’t ever really know how you will handle each dilemma or predicament you face. You won’t always know how to graciously accept good fortune and miracles.
But that’s what makes life so sweet.