I've had occasion to reconsider my decision to leave my pastoral position in Oregon and remain in Michigan for PhD studies. Often I've wondered if I've made the wrong decision. If I had remained in the original path and gone back to Oregon...
...I would be in Oregon right now. Back home at last!
...I would be moving into a bigger house, not into my in-laws' basement.
...I would be buying that new couch I've wanted for the last 6 years.
...I would finally be pastoring in a local church-- legitimized as a pastor.
I try to push thoughts like that away, reasoning that I've already decided: pastoring in Oregon is not my reality right now, and
the Land of What Ifs is not a very magical place to live.
But what gives me the most courage lately to embrace this new (financially challenging and professionally uncertain) reality is knowing that courage is needed.
I made a difficult decision, but I made one and now it's mine.
And I can be proud of the fact that in just about every way this is the more difficult path.
There is a reason that the road less travelled has less foot traffic: it's harder to walk there.
Somehow this encourages me, somehow it calls upon the courageous part of me to stand up and to remain standing with resolve. I want to spend my life on hard things; I want to be heroic.
There are much greater heroes in the world than I will ever be, and giving up security to get a doctorate is not among the most self-sacrificing or dangerous acts of history. But it takes a long courage and I believe that doing a brave thing is commendable, and that it is in every way superior to doing no thing. Therefore
to make a courageous decision is in every way superior to making no decision
In the end, I may not succeed in this small endeavor of mine, but
if I choose and act courageously have I not triumphed in the world?