Daniel Boone was one of the heroes of the American frontier. It is said that he was once returning from the uncharted forests beyond the Kentucky River, and he was asked by a lady if he was ever lost. The famous scout replied, “I cannot say I was ever lost, ma’am, but I was bewildered for three days.”
Life can indeed be a bewildering experience as we work our way through a forest of decisions that seem to line up one after another. Life was not a choice for any one of us, but living life is full of choices. In fact, one study conducted several years ago by the University of Minnesota discovered that we all face between 300 and 17,000 decisions every day. On any given day, these choices might range from making travel plans to switching off a life-support machine that is sustaining the existence of a loved one. Sooner or later, all of us arrive at junctures where two roads diverge.
What are we to do when we come to a fork in the road of life? The good news is that God has not left us simply to lean on our own understanding but is willing to act as our guide in life, even unto death (Psalm 48:14; Prov. 3:5–6). There are several angles to God’s guidance that help us take a step in the right direction:
- Read and heed the Scriptures (Psalm 119:105; 2 Tim. 3:16–17). God has graciously revealed His mind and will in the corpus of the sixty-six books of the Bible, and they can equip us sufficiently unto every good work. The precepts and principles of God’s Word act as a light unto our path.
- Think with a renewed mind (Rom. 12:1–2; 2 Tim. 2:7). The Lord gave us a lot of leading when he gave us a brain, and when our thinking is submitted to God’s thinking, we can often reason our way to an answer within His will.
- Pray humbly (James 1:5). According to James, God is a treasure trove of wisdom, and prayer is the key to unlocking that wisdom. But, if that key is to work, it must be found in the hand of the humble soul who prays for God’s will to be done on earth, not man’s will to reign in heaven (Matt. 6:9–10). Remember, prayer is not so much us telling God what we want but us asking God what He wants.
- Seek the counsel and example of godly people (Prov. 11:14; 1 Thess. 1:6–7). Life is a team sport, and so we need the coaching of others. We need the objective, wise, and godly counsel of parents, pastors, and peers.