I have come across many fork in the road decisions in my life. It probably didn’t matter what route I took, it would lead to something great, but the decision to go one way or the other, changed the course in my life. One such example is when later in life I decided to go back to school to get my masters degree. It was a huge leap of faith. I had not been a great student, but I was determined to do well if I could get into graduate school. I needed to earn a reasonable living to support myself and plan for my future. Had I not been accepted, or worked hard to get my MBA, I am sure the other fork in the road would have been good—just different.
As we travel down the road of life, we come upon bumps in the road. We come upon detours. Sometimes the road is smooth, and then it gets rough, maybe it’s only a gravel road struggling to get through in inclement weather.
What does it mean when we come to a fork in the road? It is decision time. It doesn’t matter the issue. It could be a financial, career, relationship, health related, educational, or any other issue. A decision needs to be made. Do I go this direction or the other? It’s a fork in the road, not an intersection. We are not veering off too far. Farther down the road it moves farther out, but not now. It’s just a simple decision.
Many times we get stuck at the fork in the road. We are afraid to make the decision. What if it is the wrong decision? What if it is rough roads down one direction, and not the other? Why can’t I see what is ahead?
When no decision is made, it really is a decision. When we are at that fork in the road and we make no decision, we move forward between the two roads. The problem is that we are now off the road. We are walking through the terrain. Its not smooth. It’s rocky. It’s muddy. It’s messy. All that was needed was a decision.
Why do we fear decision-making when making no decision can make life harder? We fear making a mistake. Okay, it’s a mistake. Big deal! So make the turn around and find that fork again. It is better than being stuck in the muck and mire. Decisions can be scary–and sometimes risky, but they move us farther quicker than winding through the rough terrain. Making no decision takes me off the beaten path. It makes me frustrated. It makes me scared.
I have taken a fork in the road. I am not sure where it will take me. I am a bit scared and nervous, but I am on a path. I am moving forward. What is the new landscape I will see? Who will I meet new by taking this new road? I am sure if I had taken the other road, it would not have been wrong either. It just would take me elsewhere, meeting different adventures and people. Can I change my mind? Why of course I can. I always have choices and options. Always have new forks in the road, and where it will take me is the new adventure.
There are times that I have been really scared making a decision to go one way or the other. I have to keep in mind my final destination. Will making the decision to go a certain direction still take me there? Whatever way I go will require movement. I cannot stay at the fork in the road.
I took the fork in the road and after a few years, of blood, sweat and tears (well, probably really tears), I received my Masters Degree. Yes, the girl who was not a good student in the past. The girl who was told by her high school counselor that she was not college material. That was all the past. I took a new road—a road less traveled.
Getting my Masters Degree didn’t solve all my problems, but I moved into a career where I believe I made a difference. I met wonderful coworkers whom I would have not met before. I worked with great employees who wanted to work their best. I got to travel and meet many people in my field to learn from them and share my ideas and talent.
One simple move at that fork in the road. As long as I am living and breathing, I will continue to make decisions to move to new adventures. That’s just who I am.
Decisions are hard. They all require movement. It doesn’t let us stay in one place. It brings energy to the process. We fear to make a decision because we cannot see the full outcome. But making a decision that is good and right and honoring to my Creator, how else can it be but to give a life changing, moving-forward, abundantly full life. There is a sense of peace and serenity to making positive forward-moving decisions.
How do you handle the forks in the road you come upon? Do you fearlessly take the road? Or, do you walk right into the field of muck and mire and then wonder how you got there? What is holding you back from where you want to go? What is the step you can make today to move toward your dreams?
Are voices screaming in your head to stop and not be courageous? Quiet those voices, and take the fork and see what new adventures are in store for you. You may be surprised what you are capable of doing. Get past your fear—take the fork in the road and see a new horizon!