Crossroads: Running On Faith

 Lately I've been running
 on faith
 What else can a poor boy do?
 But my world will be right
 When love comes over you.
   ~Jerry Lynn Williams~

Bewildering Intersection

I stopped cold in my tracks. There was no place to go, and no one waiting for me to arrive. I felt cut loose and disconnected from all that mattered.

A sense of abandonment slithered around my brain—snaky anxiety that whispered deception and defeat. Part of me listened closely. Meanwhile from a solid inner foundation mutters and roars shouted down the lies and negativity—an ever-shifting, touch and go battle of emotions. 

I looked left, and then right. I stared straight ahead. I turned around to check my back trail. The roads stretched out in all directions for as far as my eyes could focus. I didn’t know which way to go, but possessed a burning desperation to make a wise choice—it seemed like so long since I’d done so.

This isn’t my first adventure at a bewildering intersection—there have been several seasons in life when haunting a crossroads tapped every remnant of faith I could muster. I’m fully convinced in what I believe and why I believe it, but there remain dark occasions when the bitter cold of doubt blows through my soul like a wintry blast.

It’s in those challenging times that I secretly wish God would do for me what he once did for an exiled shepherd—if God could reveal himself in a burning bush for Moses, he ought to do the same for me. Alas, that has never occurred—neither has there been any instance of skywriting to grant me special insights.

In my faith-journey travels, reading and understanding the roadmap has its quirky features—there are always the iffy contours and potential possibilities to reconnoiter. It’s not an exact science, nor should it be.

As maddening or frustrating as it may be, the One who is sovereign has his reasons—none of which he has to explain to me. It’s a day by day deal—the route isn’t set in stone or lit up in the darkness like an airport runway, but inch by inch it can be ascertained.

It may be a hit and miss process of waiting, wondering, probing, and taking tiny steps, but all the activity has benefit, though oft-times those perks are obscured or even completely hidden. An intense search-mode calibrates us for spiritual growth, but while we are in the middle of it we seldom realize the enlightenment being refined in those places where deep calls to deep.   

The vital issue at any crossroads is to hear God precisely, which requires integrity and the exertion of much effort. So I search for guidance, always running on faith shadowed by an undercurrent of doubt. Despite murky misgivings, I’m persuaded by the 20/20 vision of hindsight that the Creator of the universe works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Scarecrow Directions

My experiences at the turning points of life closely resembles Dorothy Gale’s initial encounter with the Scarecrow in The Wizard Of Oz. The Kansas farm-girl was miraculously transported to the enchanted realm of Oz by a tornado, and is immediately embroiled in troubles.

Dorothy is befriended by Glinda, the good witch of the north, and given instructions on what she must do to get back home. She follows them implicitly, which results in her coming to a four-way dilemma on the Yellow Brick Road on her way to see the Wizard in Emerald City.

She’d been told, quite adamantly and repeatedly, to simply follow the Yellow Brick Road—it sounded as easy as a walk in the park on a lazy afternoon. Yet here she was at a juncture where the golden pathway stretched out toward each compass point.

Left, right, or straight ahead—she could take any course and stay true to the light she’d been given, BUT only one decision led to the objective. There she was, resolute but confused as to which way to turn.

In that fidgety instant she met the Scarecrow. From his perch on a pole in the corner of a cornfield he points to the left and says, “Pardon me, that way is a very nice way.”

Dorothy is startled—her dog Toto begins barking and getting antsy. Then the Scarecrow’s right arm does a little windmill action and stretches out as he says, “It’s pleasant down that way too.” And finally, he crosses his arms to indicate two directions and tells her, “Of course, people do go both ways.”

Tensions & Stony Realities

The movie, The Wizard Of Oz is a multilayered wonder chocked full of snippets of truth. If it’s merely a fantasy of childhood, then gray hair and rickety bones aside, I must be younger now than ever.

That scene between Dorothy and the Scarecrow makes me think every time I watch it because it’s a classic echo of the real world—when sorting through options on this side of the rainbow conflicting advice is often the norm.

A big difference here is that there’s no magic, no carefully scripted solution—no song and dance in the corn with a Scarecrow to lighten the load and reach a decision. At crossroads there are always tensions and stony realities that must be dealt with—just now for us the clock is ticking as the prongs of financial pliers relentlessly get tighter.

All efforts to obtain employment of any kind have been a series of prospects that disappear like smoke on the wind or become detours, blocked alleys, and deadends. Apparently my skill-set and body of work isn’t impressive, or maybe it’s all a matter of timing. Or perhaps it’s always about what I’m supposed to be learning.

Who knows? Well, God does, but evidently the answer is so choice he’s keeping it to himself for awhile longer. There’s no way to figure where I fit or what’s happening in the heavenlies.

On this earthbound level, doors creak open and then slam shut with a finality that is deafening. Mix in the fact that a longstanding family heartache is coming to a hopeful but unpredictable outcome, and it’s clear why I’m tempted to gnaw my fingernails down to the nubs.

In the midst of the pressure of waiting, wondering, probing, and taking tiny steps, there are bits of joy—our grandsons are bubbly and jumpy, pleased beyond description that Grandmom and Papa are hanging out at their house. When we are away for a day or two, their response upon our return is truly priceless.

One other factor should never be diminished—the living nature of God’s written revelation of himself is an immeasurable marvel. The ancient phrases of Scripture speak with a vitality and relevance that can be succinctly stunning.

A half-dozen times in the past week, an incredibly simple yet complex passage has crossed my radar. Since references to it have come from diverse and entirely disconnected sources, it occurred to me that I should revisit this section with a meditative intensity to consider its problematic dimensions.

Take a new look at these words Jesus spoke, lifted from his sermon on the mount.

Matthew 6:25-34 - NIV

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 Lately I've been running
 on faith
 What else can a poor boy do?
 But my world will be right
 When love comes over you.
   ~Jerry Lynn Williams~

Stand Strong

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

What it means to seek God’s kingdom first and foremost is frequently open to personal interpretation—we each endeavor to work out our salvation in fear and trembling fully cognizant of the trial and error aspects of comprehending the whys and wherefores of God’s intentions.

So while on pause inside a swirl of anticipation it’s one day at time—for tomorrow will worry about itself. We can be feckless and faithless, yet Scripture boldly proclaims that God will provide all our needs according to his riches in glory. To stand strong on that assurance is to rejoice—his great faithfulness is everlasting, renewing itself with each sunrise.

At crossroads, even the human-tainted form of wisdom demands that we bow before our Maker in submission and surrender. I don’t know what the future holds, and even though I have angst-ridden interludes when uncertainty hammers at me, I press on with a bedrock confidence in the One who holds all my tomorrows in his hands. Step by shaky step, I’m determined to keep running on faith.

What else can a poor boy do?

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Comments 36 comments

FaithDream profile image

FaithDream 5 years ago from (Midwest) USA

This message speaks volumes. Rich with metaphors, your talent as a writer is your compass. God hears the cries of His children. He knows each of them by name and He has big plans for you.

Keep writing. What you are doing right now is spreading a message of hope. I know I am encouraged. Great job.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

FaithDream - Thank you for your kind & generous words. The encouragement is deeply meaningful to me. Blessings.


Brian R. Morgan 5 years ago

Truly you are a man of God, and he uses your words to get through to the Weary, and distraught. Great writing, Ken!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thanks, Brian. Your affirmation is much appreciated. Blessings.


HOOWANTSTONO profile image

HOOWANTSTONO 5 years ago

Nice one Bro

Its always a strengthening to hear it from someone else.

Peace


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, HOOWANTSTONO. Blessings.


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

Beautifully written, Ken, and by the end, man....I was feelin' ya. Been at several crossroads of my own and found that the only way to know which way to turn is to look up. The conclusion of this hub says just that. Except a heck of a lot better than I just did! Many prayers for continued blessing and enlightenment. :)


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Motown2Chitown - Thank you. Your words are much appreciated, as are your prayers. Blessings.


Lori Cotten profile image

Lori Cotten 5 years ago

I'm so happy that my crossroads led to your hubs. You enlighten my day with the good stuff I and so many more need to keep on track as we journey through this life we live. Thank you Ken, sincerely.

Lori Cotten


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Brother Ken: I love the scripture from Matthew: 6: It shows us not to worry about anything and to keep focused on God and on the day at hand. Well done my brother.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Lori Cotten - You are sincerely welcome. I'm pleased that you stopped in & enjoyed the visit. It's extremely encouraging to me to know that my writing is a blessing to others. Thank you for sharing.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, Dave. Your visits are always an encouragement to me. Blessings.


nasus loops profile image

nasus loops 5 years ago from Fenland

Well written Ken. We all reach crossroads in our lives, some more than others and it can be very confusing knowing which way to go. You tell it well.


Richieb799 profile image

Richieb799 5 years ago from Cardiff, Wales UK

Many wise people say life is one big road of signs, love this!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, nasus loops. Blessings.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thanks, Richie. Blessings.


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Well padded article,thanks for sharing.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

crystolite - You're welcome. Thanks for stopping in.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee

Well written, informative and concise. What contentment to know that wherever and whatever we face in life, our Jesus has already dealt with, successfully.

blessings...


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

samsons1 - Thank you for your words of encouragement. Blessings.


bettybarnesb profile image

bettybarnesb 5 years ago from Bartlett, TN

Hey Ken: I love your style of writing. Personally, I just left the cross roads and I have moments when I asked myself if I have lost my mind. But the calmness of God's presence reassure me that I am in His will. Beautiful hub!

Be Blessed....


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 5 years ago from hub

Inspiring words! The events in our life, do bring us to crosswords...where it is time to make a decision of action. Always blessed by your hubs:) Nice video too!


baaska 5 years ago

Thanks it is big help!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

bettybarnesb - Thank you. Glad you stopped in & enjoyed the visit. Blessings.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

heart4word - Thank you for your kind & encouraging words. Peace & blessings.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

baaska - You're welcome. Blessings.


2besure profile image

2besure 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Surely the Lord directed you to write this hub! I have been at a crossroad for about 10 years. I know where I have been, but see nothing pointing to tomorrow. I am encouraged to turn my attention fully to the Lord that He may direct me anew!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

2besure - Thank you for stopping in & sharing. Peace, blessings & much encouragement to you.


gclitty profile image

gclitty 5 years ago

I think crossroads pop up every few years in persons life. I'm only sixteen and I've got to choose a path to take that could define my life for better or worse.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

gclitty - I think you are right--crossroads turn up in our lives more than once. Blessings, peace & much encouragement to you as you seek to make wise choices.


jo miller profile image

jo miller 5 years ago from Tennessee

Just want you to know, your writings are inspirational for me. You have a real talent for this, and, as you're searching for your way just now, I pray you may use these talents.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

jo miller - Thank you for your very kind words. I truly appreciate the affirmation & encouragement. Blessings.


Answer3 profile image

Answer3 5 years ago from Arkansas

Ken,that was a wonderful hub. I too have felt like I am often at cross roads in my life. One day while remembering the words I had recently told a friend, while trying to make a career decision, I had said, I just feel like I am always at a crossroad in my life. And I heard myself say, You are not at a cross road you are only climbing a ladder , and you are going up one step closer. Sometime our crossroads can be a ladder in our next step to being in Gods perfect plan. I love the scripture that God is walking ahead of us making those crooked places straight, and how God sent an angel to guide the children while going through the wilderness, so they would know which way to go. He will do it for us too Ken. Your writing is a gift from God, and to God be the glory for such a awesome talent.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Answer3 - Thank you for your affirmation, testimony & strong words of encouragement. All are much appreciated. Be blessed & encouraged.


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

Love this! I also have a hub on crossroads, your take on it very much understood by me and I'm sure any others too. Thanks for sharing it.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Fluffy77 - You're welcome. Thank you for stopping in & sharing here.

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