Every once in a while I second guess myself. Most of the time I am totally sure of my impulsive self (get it?). Most of the time my actions are completely congruent with my vision for my life, where I think I should be going and the kind of person that I’m trying to become. But every once in a blue moon the stars align and I’m hamstrung with self-doubt, paralyzed with indecision.
This cosmic even usually occurs in a Walmart within the first week of arriving back in the United States. We have Walmarts here where I live, but they aren’t the same. They are purely functional. If you want a plastic spatula, a laundry basket or a bag of Kitty Litter then a Costa Rican Walmart is your place. All the basics are here. Walmart is just a grocery store on steroids. For example, they have an entire aisle of yogurt and another complete aisle of coffee products and milk in unrefrigerated boxes. Here I never feel paralyzed with indecision because my choices are quite limited.
I’m still so frustrated with my reaction to shopping when I go home. The minute I set foot in a big store like Target or Walmart I feel the count down to a migraine beginning. It’s a race against the clock. I better go in there with a list or else I’m doomed. This star-crossed shopper has been known to leave the store without buying a single thing simply because I couldn’t make a decision. I know it’s time to leave when I hear my decision-making brain cells start to sizzle with the over load of information. Sensing fear, Self Doubt sees its opportunity and pounces on the weakest of the herd. It takes me down like a predator to its prey.
This happens in my Spiritual Life too. I don’t know how many times I’ve prayed, “Lord, you have to make your will SUPER clear to me, ’cause I’m not hearing you so well right now.” I make a move in one direction and doors start to open. I usually take this as a sign that I’m on the right path and keep moving along that route until I hit a wall or come across a fork in the road. Usually I live by the philosophy that if you don’t hear anything new from the Lord then you just keep doing the last thing he told you to do. No new instructions mean “keep on keeping on.” Stay the course.
But sometimes I’m pushing on doors and they are opening smoothly when suddenly I’m griped by that old self doubt. I second guess my decisions. “Oh my word, this might actually happen!” I gasp. “Am I ready for this? Is this really what I want? Is it too late to back out of this commitment?” I get cold feet. This thing takes on a life of it’s own!
That’s when my prayer switches from “God lead me” to “God give me courage!” Of course I want him to stop me if I’m wrong, correct me if I’m off course, and keep me from making a bad decision. But when self doubt and fear come knocking on my door, I need courage to stay the course and not go running back to what is familiar and safe. I commit my way to the Lord again and pull out his promises to strengthen my resolve.
“The steps of a Righteous Man (Woman) are ordered by God.”
“Direct my footsteps according to your word, let no sin rule over me.”
“A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?”
Then I breathe deeply and resolve to Keep on Keeping on until I hear differently from the one who orders my steps.