Back in the day, I drove my Corolla under the warm sun between my downtown Coral Gables apartment and my law school campus; and wherever else those spontaneous, adventurous days would take me. I mostly drove on my own and listened to the God of the universe speak.
All of the performance and perfectionism that had piled up high in my twenty-two-year-old life came to a halting stop in my first year of law school. Law school was hard and competitive.
On top of that, there were a lot of fancy white girls (as my brown skinned goddaughter now calls them). My hard work and success of the past didn’t really amount to anything in this environment – at least that is how it felt.
You know what happened. I got small and afraid. Of Failure. God took my frailty. He opened the door of my heart. I began to hear Him for the very first time.
I will stop here for a moment. I know you know your moment too.
Perhaps you were younger or older.
Perhaps it was joy in your life that God used to usher in His voice to your soul.
Perhaps you found His voice as someone else prayed over you.
Perhaps you hear Him in His design of the sun rays or ocean waves.
Perhaps ___________ (you fill in the blank).
The Alternative Road to Atlanta
On one of those banner, sunny afternoons under the massive Gables trees, God reminded me of an option I had about seven years before. I had chosen to go to college in New Orleans over Atlanta. This was a good choice that I walked through with family. However, in that moment, driving in the black Corolla under the warm sun, God helped me see that each choice leads down an alternative road. I saw a glimpse of that alternative life, had I chosen to move to Atlanta.
We have paths. Paths are powered by our choices. Choices come in the number of 35,000 per day. With so many alternative choices, can we even imagine the different courses our lives could have taken at any given point? Even if we narrow down the hunt to the most relevant, impactful lifetime events, we still have the path and the path not chosen.
What May Have Been
Over the years, I have pondered the alternative road to Atlanta from time to time. Can you relate? Do you ever consider the alternative roads? What may have been. Implicit in that thought is comparison. If I am painfully honest, the enemy sometimes uses these moments to falsely convict me – – wrongly pin me down to regret.
Just last week, the alternative road to the city of Atlanta came to mind. For the first time, God had more to say about that path. While I choose to keep the intimate words of the Spirit within my heart, I wish to share the following.
In every choice. In every path. There is a certain amount of heartbreak. There is a certain amount of joy. In every choice. In every path.
The aerial view of the particular path may look rather different. You know, New Orleans or Atlanta. Corporate v. Entrepreneur. Hunker down or Move around. Single v. Spouse. Quiet or Bustle. Risky v. Cautious. Sunshine or Snow.
Regardless of the specific choice, the substance of all paths includes the fullness of the human experience. There is a certain amount of heartbreak. There is a certain amount of joy. In every choice. In every path.
God grants us the opportunity of choice. Because of His kindness and love towards us, our choices are covered in His sovereignty. No choice or path is outside of His hands. His nature works everything for good.
Revelation: Life Has Its Ups and Downs
I won’t ponder the alternative road to the city of Atlanta any longer. I had my revelation. I now understand it is less about the specific facts and more about what makes up a life.
God has already authored the content. He has packed the human experience with everything we need to grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. He gives us everything we need to become the mirror image of Him.
Rather than imagine the different courses our lives could have taken at any given point. Rather than ponder. Rather than entertain the implicit comparison of what may have been. Rather than let the enemy convict you with wrongful regret. Simply acknowledge that life has its ups and downs. Both in the present path and in the alternative path not chosen.
With wisdom, gather information. With intention, create a life giving list. With humility, pray. With an open mind, get advise. Do your best not to act like a fool (although it is inevitable from time to time). Choose the path ahead. With confidence. With God.
Choose in the present to grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. For against these, there is no law of regret. No implicit comparison. No pondering of the road not taken. No Atlanta over New Orleans. No matter the path, you have everything you need to become the mirror image of God.
Follow Your Calling
My sweet friends, I write to you because it matters to me that you believe you are free. When you believe you are free, you heart opens. The whisper of God comes in and tells you things you did not know, so you can do the things you’ve haven’t done yet.
God has a calling over your life at every stage. In every season. It’s my hope, my dream, that you wouldn’t let this season, this life, pass you by without following His calling over your life.
If you enjoy these letters and haven’t joined the Follow Your Call Class, click the button below and reach out to me for details – Sasha@SashaAKatz.com. We start on Thursday, June 11 at 6:30pm via Zoom.
Your Soul Sister Sasha