I've sometimes been afraid to step out and make a move in any direction for fear that I'd be doing the wrong thing. I know the saying that God can only direct a moving car and not a parked one, yet I've still chosen to remain firmly parked, jotting down possible pros and cons, trying to figure things out. What usually happens is that my head just spins and I'm even more frustrated and confused, having known all along that the pros and cons for both sides are what makes a decision difficult in the first place. I've felt envious of friends and acquaintances who state, "After prayer I just knew deep in my bones that the right thing to do would be...." So with big or medium sized decisions, and sometimes even small ones, I've been a procrastinator.
It's embarrassing to make mistakes. Just a few moments ago in fact, one of Logan's friends phoned to ask if he could come and have a play on the computer. Thinking that school holidays must be earlier than I'd expected, I told him that although we're pretty busy today (Monday), he's welcome to come on Thursday. He sounded a bit dubious about that, and then when I hung up, it struck me that school holidays won't even begin until after Easter. Today is simply a public holiday long weekend for the Adelaide Cup horse race. So I phoned back, explained my confusion and asked him if he'd like to come on Saturday. Even that sort of little thing makes me feel like a muddle-headed, dizzy homeschooling mum who's out of touch with the rest of the world. It's not pleasant to imagine how I must appear to other people. No wonder I hesitate to step out on the big stuff.
Not long ago, I found a statement in a book I was reading that we shouldn't be afraid to step out because God can even use our mistakes! It was a nice thought and I wanted to think it's true. Well, over the weekend I read a true story that confirms it absolutely.
It was about Mr Alfred Nobel, the Swedish instigator of the Nobel Peace Prize. He'd become a multi-millionaire from his work producing dynamite. Over breakfast one day, he opened the morning paper and was shocked to see his own obituary in the classifieds. The editor of the paper had mistakenly thought he'd died. When Nobel got over his initial shock, he was upset to find that his obituary was not very flattering. In spite of his success, he'd been labelled as a rude and selfish man who had no time for others. That became the catalyst for him to change his life around before it became too late. Establishing the Nobel Peace Prize, thereby giving huge chunks of his wealth away in aid of great humanitarian causes changed his personal legacy completely. When we think of the name Nobel, what do we immediately think of? How ironic to learn that the man whose name is most associated with worldwide peace earned his fortune in something as un-peaceful as dynamite!
I guess when the newspaper editor discovered his mistake, he would've thought, "Oh yikes!" and wanted to sink into a hole in the ground and never come out again. As far as mistakes go, that was a pretty big one. But look at the good that came out of it. Perhaps it's a good thing to just make the best prayerful, informed decisions we can and then step out without looking back, trusting them to come alright.