Over the years, I have had to make decisions that would change the direction of my Life. I remember back in 2008, in my hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I sat at a popular fountain in the Downtown area thinking about whether I needed to transfer colleges. It required me to move across the continent to Southern California, a place I had only visited once. There was so much I did not know. I wasn’t certain if it was the right move.
I went for a long walk and sat on the edge of the fountain looking at the water spring into the air. It had a calming effect on me. I felt peace… like I knew this was what I had to do and everything would be okay. I could walk into the unknown without worrying so much about the hypotheticals (what might or might not happen).
Fast forward 10 years, I reluctantly took another long walk today (because I could find no where else to park). Today, I’m in Jacksonville, Florida with another major decision looming over my head. Do I really want to do this? What happens if…? All the uncertainties flood my mind. Yet again, I found myself standing in front of a fountain watching the water spring to life.
Just as powerful as before. Having the feel of: Everything’s gonna be alright. “But how do you KNOW?” I don’t know. But it’s clear to me now that the status quo is no longer working. I’ve gone as far as I can go in this Season of my Life. The floor beneath me seems to be crumbling. Clear signs that it’s about to cave in and if I’m not prepared for the inevitable collapse, I will fall with it.
I used to blame God for the rumblings of my Foundation. Yes, He is allowing the ground to break up, but it’s not to make me fail. It’s to force me to move on. Otherwise, I would get comfortable with where I am and settle for less than I should have. So… piece after piece begins to decay and there’s nothing I can do to stop it or slow it down no matter how hard I try.
Still, I needed to go to a fountain to be completely sure. This isn’t an exact science. Yet, I know… I can feel when it’s time.
Now… I look for an open door. Several doors have closed. “No. Sorry, we can’t help you.” Or… “I hope that works out for you elsewhere.” Which tells me to keep looking. Stay alert. Try another door and then, another, until one of them opens.
I was getting frustrated, though, to be honest. I kept asking myself, “how am I supposed to get to this Life I dream of when so many doors are closed?” There has to be a way. Then, it’s like the Lord asked me, “Eric… if you could do whatever you wanted, right now, without going through alternate paths to get there… what would you do?” Of course, that was easy to answer. He said, “Go right for it.”
Straight line? Right at it? Is that even possible for me to do with my limited resources? Well… it’s worth a shot given the fact that the alternate paths I’ve looked into are not working. It’s forcing my hand to move that way… anyway.
Fun Fact: Friday is Slurpee Day. Practically, every Friday, I get off work and go to 7-Eleven to get a Coca-Cola Slurpee. Yes, it HAS to be Coca-Cola and it HAS to be from 7-Eleven. If one 7-Eleven does not have Coca-Cola, I will visit another 7-Eleven to find it. (Why do they even make other flavors?) There have been rare occasions when I just could not find Coca-Cola available and/or I would choose a different flavor. But I’d rather go without the Slurpee than get different flavor.
I shared this information with a co-worker recently and she asked why I can’t just go to a gas station and buy a Coca-Cola Icee. Had I been sitting down, I would have fallen out of my chair. A younger, more naive ME would go to a gas station or other store to get an Icee only to discover it pales in comparison to the 7-Eleven Slurpee. …It’s just not the same.
A couple of weeks ago, I was so busy (and tired) I missed my Friday Slurpee Day. Well… by Sunday afternoon I was on edge. I HAD to go to 7-Eleven to get my Coca-Cola Slurpee in the largest cup they have, as usual. I figure my sister thinks I have a ‘condition’ because she usually pokes at me about my need for one Slurpee on Friday per week.
And yes, today, a Saturday, also became a Slurpee Day. But I knew from past experience that I should not get the biggest cup they have two days in a row. This one is a bit smaller. Two helpings in a week is actually too much for me. (shrug) Too much sugar, I suppose.
Now, you know where my Power comes from: Slurpees and Fountains. (haha) Ultimately, I try to listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice. It’s subtle. Small. Easy to drown out with all the thoughts running through my mind. But it’s impactful. Calm. Sure. The Slurpees and fountains sure do help me hear Him. 🙂 “How?” I’m not the Mastermind here, I just go with it.
Eric Christopher Jackson