“He still had doubts about the decision he had made. But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”
–The Alchemist, Paul Coelho, p. 68
Many months ago, at the dawn of this new and uncharted season of my life, I found myself feeling sort of tangled and immobilized by all the possibilities around me. There were so many roads down which I could have journeyed, but surely, I rationalized, one must lead to a bigger treasure than the rest.
After lots of prayer and list-making and sleepless nights of lamenting and confusion, the Lord eventually told me, You just have to make a decision. Just choose something and then do it.
It was like jumping into the river.
The water before me seemed cold but refreshing in some way, like the revitalizing sight of a fresh spring for a weary traveler. It was deep enough for me to jump in without smashing my legs on rocks. The current was strong and would take me quickly, but the river, undoubtedly, flowed in the direction of my dreams.
I knew not what the rest of the river would look like, where the current would take me or how long I would be in its waters. There would of course be many bends and twists in the river’s path as it snaked down the mountain and into the sea, this I knew. Certainly there would be parts of the river that would be white with choppy water. Occasionally there would be waterfalls that would send me plunging and tumbling along. In some stretches I would find the water so shallow that I’d inevitably scrape my knees and have to get up and walk until it was deep enough for the water carry me again.
But all of those parts of the river’s path were unseen to me at the time. All I knew was what was before me in that moment. All I saw was the part of the river that when I looked out into it, seemed to promise me that it was in fact flowing in the direction of my dreams.
Sometimes you just need to get off the shore and let the water take you – with a jump or a step or a gradual submersion – because the treasure that’s waiting for you in those waters is so much more rich and promising than any treasure you could spend your whole life digging for in the dunes. Continue reading