When None Of Your Options Are Good

Have you ever found yourself between a rock and a hard place – forced to make a Scylla & Charybdis decision?

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

I must confess – I am a HUGE fan of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve read the series countless times to my children, and we have spent many a camping trip listening to them dramatized on CD on the way up to the mountains. In fact, my mother read them countless times to us as children, and many of my fondest memories are peppered with these stories. The premise is that the creator of that magical world is the King of all the talking beasts and His name is Aslan. The story begins with two earthly children being brought to the magical anthropomorphic kingdom of Narnia with magic. The human children are then tied to the fate of the land, and the next set of children to arrive are four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, in age order. Aslan is good and fierce, magical, marvelous, and definitely not tame.

In the third book, the four children are magically called back to Narnia some three hundred years since they had grown up and ruled the land before disappearing back to their own world, at their own time, with nearly no time at all having passed. They return, like Merlin, without having aged, many years later to help the kingdom in its time of need. They set out on a perilous journey with their unbelieving dwarf escort to aid the new King. They hit one setback after another – even becoming lost in the woods – until, Aslan comes to the youngest, Lucy, in the middle of the night after a very long day’s journey on little food, and tells her to wake the others and follow him. When she does attempt it, no one can see Aslan but her. She is afraid to go on alone, and the others won’t follow. More delays and setbacks ensue. After taking a route, they thought would work only to find that the landscape had changed dramatically in 300 years, making the way impassable the children and the dwarf decide they must once again turn back. Suddenly, Aslan appears again to only Lucy and beckons her to follow. This time she goes without them, and they are forced to follow. They follow as Aslan disappears onto a path they didn’t even realize was there and are finally back on the right way. Slowly, they all begin to see the lion and realize the costly errors they have made because they thought they could do it alone and didn’t have faith.

What can we do in those situations? You know, the ones where all the options seem like bad ones? How can we know which path to chose when peril is threatened at every door?

I’ve always been a Pro Vs. Con girl. I write up my T-chart and weigh the options. My husband is a gut-feeling guy. Sometimes these two strategies are at odds. Sometimes – neither work at all. What does work – ALL the time? Trusting in God. When we come to a decision that gut-feelings and T-charts can’t fix – we pray. If we were smarter, we would start with prayer every time. But, like Lucy’s siblings, we sometimes become caught up in what we think is right without stopping to find the path our Protector In Chief has laid out for us.

The next time I come to a situation where all my options seem like bad ones… BEFORE I write my T-chart, BEFORE I consult with my husband’s gut, I think I’ll pray first, so I don’t get lost in the woods.

 

Proverbs 3:5 & 6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

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