Watching the Weather Channel, I had to make a decision. It was Thursday late morning and I was just about to work out, but a tropical storm was becoming Hurricane Harvey and it was heading our way to Corpus Christi, Texas. Whether it would wobble south or north, I would not know until it made landfall. However, evacuation in my city was recommended at this point, not mandatory.
My kids were enjoying their last few days before school started, and I had to choose a direction. I was faced with two different, yet uniquely difficult paths. 1) I would have to prepare my kids for evacuation, hurricane proof my house, find a hotel that allowed pets, grab everything dear to me, pack my car and get on the road away from the coast. Or 2) I would stay in my house, hurricane proof everything, live without water and electricity for days and hunker down through the worst of the storm.
Neither decision sounded good, but I had to act quickly.
I decided to beat the traffic and get on the road. My husband, who was at work, stayed behind a little longer to close down shop, board up our house and then fight through endless traffic to evacuate. Less than two days later, we watched in despair as Hurricane Harvey ripped through Rockport, Texas, a town only thirty miles from our home.
The choice to evacuate our city (Corpus Christi) was voluntary, but it was mandatory for Rockport and Port Aransas and other coastal towns just north of us. Some of my family and friends stayed behind to weather the storm, while many others like me left. There were positives and negatives with both scenarios, but questioning the decision to leave or stay after the fact does no earthly good.
Sometimes in life, we have decisions to make that do not have a mandatory one-way direction. We have to choose between a rock and a hard place. The people who decided to stay to suffer without electricity and endure the scary winds and rains were no better or worse off than the people who left to suffer through hours of traffic and endure living out of suitcases. The end result was the same—we all eventually found ourselves in our homes, assessing and repairing the damage.
Yes, God many times gives us mandatory choices in life that have consequences if we disobey, but much of life’s direction have many paths that lead to the same spot, yet each path is riddled with its own advantages and disadvantages. To question and compare our choices and the choices of others makes a hard decision even worse. If God is not giving us a mandate, it is best just to pick a road and stick with it. There is no reason to add guilt or shame or what-ifs to an already stressful and exhausting situation.
We can make our best choice, pray to God for protection and give Him our full effort, trusting that He will guide us and keep us at peace no matter our circumstance.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26.3 NIV).
Questions: Have you ever had to make a difficult choice? Did you question yourself after the decision was made? How can trusting God with your decision promote peace.
*Please pray for the Texas cities that have been and are currently being affected by Hurricane Harvey.