Follow the yellow brick road.
A poem well known to many is one I memorized in high school and pondered then and have pondered many times thence. Sharing it on the anniversary of the author's birth (1874), I hope it will motivate you to ponder as well.
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
In high school I had my life mapped out, including who I would marry, where I would go to college, and what my careers would be afterward.
I hope this doesn't come as a shock to you, but none of those things came true. Of course, we know that God ordains our steps. I would even say He has "line item" veto power and He's not afraid to use it, and it's in our best interest when He does.
The heart of man plans his way,Yet, there are so many times in our lives where two roads diverge in a yellow wood. Like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, the path we take today will impact the path options the next day and so forth.
but the LORD establishes his steps.
-Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
Think of how many things in your life were determined for you. Your birthplace. Where you grew up. Where you went to high school. All of these will impact whether or not you go to college and, if so, where. That will impact your potential mate selection (should the Lord grants such, Prov 19:14). This will impact your offspring and theirs and so forth.
When I stop to think about it, I realize that the providential hand of God in keeping every detail together in conformity with the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11-12) is just amazing.
You're presented two options, both of which look good, so which do you take? Unlike Dorothy, we can't just follow the yellow brick road, because both roads diverge in the yellow wood.
So, how does one choose among legitimate options available to the Christian? For example, why should a Christian take one job over the other? Why should a Christian propose to one woman instead of the other? What college should you attend? (a decision with huge ramifications with regard to future spouse, job, and geographical location)
How do you make such choices?
Does God care? Will He tell you what to do? If so, how do you know?
What are the determining factors and what trumps what?