“God often gives a faint vision of things before they ever come to be. It’s not full form, more of a shadow, not focused or clear. It doesn’t come with steps or money or sure things, but it does come with hope. And hope is what keeps you going in the fog.”- Emily P. Freeman
In Chapter 5 (“Look for Arrows”) of The Next Right Thing, Emily P. Freeman asserts that good decision-making, like playing sports or the piano, requires practice. Thus, thinking about making decision doesn’t make us better at it. Rather, we make better decision by making decisions.
Furthermore, Emily states, the areas of faith, vocation, and relationships present the most complicated decision-making moments. These areas:
- take a little more time to consider what’s happening under the surface
- result in consequences that have more bearing on our lives
- consist of decisions that may weigh us down
- continue to present questions where the answers are elusive
Therefore, rather than looking for the black-and-white answers we greatly desire, Emily suggests that we begin to look for arrows instead. In addition, when we look for answers but find only arrows, we may wonder what’s next. We might find ourselves asking the question What now? Writing in What Now?, Ann Patchett describes two ways to look at that question:
“What now? is not just a panic-stricken question tossed out into a dark unknown. What now? can also be our joy. It is a declaration of possibility, of promise, of chance. It acknowledges that our failure is open, that we may well do more than anyone expected of us, that at every point in our development we are still striving to grow.”
Finally, when you get arrows instead of the answers you’re looking for, follow the arrows to where they lead.
Today’s question: When God gives you a faint vision of things, what guides you as you look for arrows? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Big question mark hanging out in your soul”