I won’t forget that Christmas.
I was a junior in college and working nights at UPS. That Christmas my family was going to Arkansas to see my grandparents and other relatives. For some reason, which I do not remember, I decided to stay home and not go with them. They left several days before Christmas. I worked all night at UPS each night while they were gone until Christmas Eve. I was off both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I was home alone both days. I soon realized what a big mistake I had made. I could not believe I had not gone with my family to Arkansas. I was aggravated that I had made such a decision. I also felt silly. This was another decision I had made without thinking through the consequences. In those years, I seemed to make such decisions far too often.
While I was home that Christmas, I thought about my life, my decisions, and my future. Those two days turned out to be a milestone for me. I wrote my thoughts in a notebook. Years later, I still have this notebook.
Some of the conclusions I reached:
1. No one was holding their breath waiting to see what I was going to do with my life. Most people had enough of their own problems to worry about.
2. I could continue to not put forth my best effort in some of my classes at the university but I was only hurting myself.
3. I could learn from some of the frustrations I had experienced or I could let these frustrations become excuses.
4. My future could be better but I would need to make better decisions.
5. Much of the work I needed to do in my life was relational. I needed to learn how to invest in people and get my focus off myself.
In many ways, those two days were decisive.
I came away from those two days more focused on the future than I had been. Consequently, I began to make better decisions in the present. What about you? Can you point to a time when you thought through the direction of your life and as a result found much clarity?