|First posted on February 4, 2010|
My husband teaches in a business school, and one of the concepts I occasionally hear him discuss is an “escalating commitment to a failing course of action.” In other words, not knowing when to change direction.
To someone like me, that smacks of giving in and giving up, and I hate both. When I was a child in school, I loved a challenging Math problem; the more difficult they were, the better. I found great joy in persevering and finding the answer. Persistence is high on my Respected Attribute List. Even when my daughter, as a little one, was annoyingly persistent, I still was glad to find that trait in her. However, I have come to see the wisdom in what my husband teaches about recognizing when to just let something go and learn from the experience.
As believers we sometimes have trouble with that because we believe God directs our paths. We reason that if it was He who led us down that path in the first place, if we leave it we are not trusting Him. But that may not always be the case.
A while back when a road I went down didn’t have the end I hoped for, I heard a man say something that really helped me. He said, “Your direction is not always your destiny.” That took me aback for a moment. But then I realized that I may actually have been directed to take that road for a reason other than what I thought. Maybe it was so I’d learn to take risks. Maybe it was to grow in my ability to hear, or to develop skills, knowledge, and relationships that would help me go forward.
In retrospect, I have come to believe it was for all those reasons. I know it certainly was to get feedback that encouraged and empowered me.
So my view is changing!
I’ve started to view a deliberate change in direction, even one brought about by negative circumstance, as an exciting adventure. New seasons bring new challenges and new challenges bring new growth. And new growth brings new joy.
In thinking of change in that way, I find I am free to be led by the Spirit instead of being led by “sunk cost” whether the cost is time or money.
My prayer for us is that we all know the times and the seasons in our lives…the time to go in and the time to go out…and to enter them with trust and faith in the One who leads.
“Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel and afterward receive me to glory,” (Psalm 73:24).