Riding in the car with my son, chatting about the future, these talks are happening more and more often. We are traveling to Chicago this weekend for a ‘serious’ college visit and making plans for Colorado soon and I am struck by the way these kids have so many options in front of them. I ask a question or two about someplace specific and he responds with a knee jerk “no” and another school is off the table. Never to be considered again. When our daughter was looking a few years ago, her first criteria was a good website; if the site was unclear or difficult to navigate it was eliminated from the list of candidates. It seemed so reckless at the time, but it was important to her. I felt like I was watching an alternate future being discarded, while she probably saw it as narrowing her choices.
As parents we know how big this decision is, it paves the way to their careers and potential mates, their friendships and experiences. And yet, if our son eats a bad burrito on the way to a college visit it can change his entire opinion of that school. It occurs to me that as adults we do the same thing all the time. We don’t necessarily understand the gravity of our choices and often make decisions based on emotion and the thoughts of others. I’m reminding my son to pray and seek God’s wisdom, while making all kinds of seemingly benign decisions on my own each day. The truth is that we put so much weight into these big decisions – college, career, mate – when it’s the small ones that can determine who we are going to be.
I’m guessing that God watches us make choices all day, some intentional but many quite reckless, and we are shrugging off opportunities and alternate futures all the time. He assures us that He is aware of our past and our future (Psalm 139:5), and He will tell us which way to go, if we will seek Him (Isaiah 30:21), the trick is to seek Him in the small, as well as the big decisions in life.