You gotta make decisions. You gotta keep making decisions, even if they’re wrong decisions, you know. If you don’t make decisions, you’re stuffed.
– Joe Simpson
I’ve been staring off into space for quite some time now. Searching, thinking, reminiscing on every decision that has lead me to this exact moment. Those days I over slept and didn’t get up for cross country practice, those nights I stayed up reading books under my blankets – every single decision served a purpose in my life which sent me to this moment: this exact moment.
Early last week, I stood by a silent lake as the birds began to sing their morning melodies, the trees whistled in the wind. Silence began to entrap the environment, and the single click of a shutter filled the air. In moments like that, surrounded by the mountains in the early morning, you can feel small – really small. My purpose that morning was to soak in the stillness of the Cascades as the highway had finally opened for summer explorations, but I began to wonder and I thought more and more about what this town, what this home has been to me.
Home has always been Bend. The small town surrounded by the mighty Cascades.
The first moments of summer have already begun to pass, and I know that the many moments that fill my days of sunshine will quickly fade away, but they will be with me for as long as I can remember. I don’t know how many days I have of summer, but I do know that the moments that it will contain will be exactly what God has directed them to be.
Nearly a month ago, I made a decision. A fairly important one, actually. And those who have ever done anything with me are probably aware that I never make decisions. Quite frankly, it’s one of my biggest weaknesses. My inability to make a verdict drives many of my friends crazy, but I always hit them with the same excuse – the youngest never makes decisions. Growing up, I typically relied on my older siblings to make the final call in most situations, and, well, that never wore off. Probably not the best technique, but it has gotten me this far.
Making the final leap toward a real decision often scares me more than it should, even for the simplest things in life. No matter how big or small, how easy or terrifying a decision may be, sometimes, life places an opportunity in front of you that can not be resolved by passing it off to a friend, parent, sibling or even a complete stranger. It places it in front of you and only you. And of course, it’s always the decisions that matter the most. Decisions are odd because a single one can alter nearly every moment for rest of forever – whether that be a single day or an entire lifetime. Now, do you see why I have such a hard time with them?
Almost exactly two years ago, I made a another important decision. I had finally determined that I would be staying in Bend to begin my college career. Attending George Fox University to pursue my passion for interior design was no longer in the cards. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I watched as each of my closest friends moved all over the country and started their new lives as “adults”, creating new friends, and pursuing their dreams. Meanwhile, I felt pretty small. Not the type of small you feel when standing amidst the mountains either, just the type of small that makes you feel like, well, a loser. Deep down, I knew staying home was the right plan, but I still did not want it to be the plan. I began the school year not knowing what I wanted to do or how I wanted to do it, and I sat back and waited for another door to open. Days would pass and I would feel myself pulling away from the things I loved to do, I felt that my sense of direction was completely dismantled. Even though I was surrounded by so many who cared and loved for me, I found myself in a state of repetition and loneliness.
As the school year came to an end, I quickly realized that I had yet to create a new path to follow after getting my associates. Many schools all across the country began to grab my attention, but none of them truly felt like home. As application deadlines approached, I thought that a decision would be made for me and I wouldn’t have to worry about the state of my future – of course, my life isn’t a movie and I actually have to work for what I want, so shortly after months of stumbling in the dark, I applied to several different schools. A small part of me was hoping I’d only get accepted to one of the many so that the decision would realistically already be made, but this was not the case. So, the fact of decision was still in the cards.
This past month has been filled with thoughts of confusion, insecurity, mindlessness, stupidity, and a whole lot of decisions not being made. Procrastinating became a new hobby, and Netflix was my drug of choice. I continued to push aside this decision and thought that maybe I wouldn’t have to make it myself. Of course, I was wrong. What’s new? Now, like I said before: I actually made a decision. A real one too.
When I finally came to the conclusion that I would be attending Calvary Chapel Bible College in the fall, an unreal sense of relief came upon me. Realizing that I had a plan and I was finally sticking to it allowed me to finally step outside of the comfort zone I had so safely be waiting in. The idea of packing up all my belongings and moving is something I have yearned for since finishing high school, but as the months move forward, I realize I seriously have to get this whole ‘making a real decision’ thing down.
Once – many, many years ago – I thought I made a wrong decision. Of course, it turned out that I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought that I was wrong.
-John Foster Dulles