>A Crossroads

>This the first time I’ve written in quite a while. But I feel I have plenty of reason.


I just learned I was not selected for National Public Radio’s Kroc Fellowship. I knew my chances were slim — only three out of 350 applicants are awarded — but that doesn’t dull my disappointment. It’s not so much that I absolutely am in love with NPR, though I do highly respect the company. That fellowship would have given me direction; it would have detoured me around a vocational — and spiritual — crossroads and focused my family and my career for at least another year, possibly opening many other thoroughfares along the way. Now, though, I stand at that very junction. The blessing and the curse of it all is that I do not stand here alone. Standing beside me is my family — Julie.

I say blessing because she is nothing but that. She shed tears for me tonight because she knew the depth of my disappointment. And she will gladly walk whatever roads are ahead by my side, being my ever-present helpmate, and much more. Her love is as close to perfect as I think possible this side of the Sun.

But I name it a curse because her fortune is inevitably bound with mine. Where I lead us at this crossroads will change her life too. I am usually unafraid of responsibility, but for the first time in our young marriage I feel the weight of my decision baring on us. Her dreams and desires lie at this intersection too.

So then, here we are. Down one long avenue lies my dream. Perhaps realized, perhaps not. Perhaps I will never reach its end and will be forced to turn back. Either way, required in the travel is persistent, hard labor; self-discipline; even self-denial. These might lead to the rewards of Kingdom-oriented work and provision for my family. But that assuredly will not come without much sacrifice. And many temptations to turn back prematurely.

Down the other road is a safer path. Possibly filled with less sacrifice and more comfort (the word comfort itself frightens me). It also may offer work that is less fulfilling, less Kingdom-oriented, less than my dream. It could very well lead to more security for my family, and perhaps an increased chance of Julie’s dream — which is my desire as well — realized. Julie, though, will never ask me to choose between her dream and mine if forced to. Oh, how beautiful she is.

I know which path is “nobler.” I know which is comfortable. And I am afraid to choose.

Oh Father, help my unbelief . . .
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