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Aside

When you don’t know which way to turn, it doesn’t matter. Right or left will get you there.

Smartly dressed couple seated on an 1886-model bicycle for two.
When I was just getting sober, I was terrified. Terrified to make the wrong decision, the wrong move, pick the wrong path.

I sat in my grey Ford Tempo at the stop sign at the corner of Lincoln and Fountain. I couldn’t figure out which was to turn so I just sat there. There were two good options for me to go to spend my evening. I believed that God would give me what I needed and that I would hear whatever I needed to hear. But what if what I was supposed to hear was on the left and I turned right?

Just sitting there meant I didn’t go anywhere.

I was new on the spiritual path and terrified most of the time. The terror wasn’t new, but dealing with it sober was. So I explored different religions.

At one Pentecostal church I hung out in, we tried to save anyone we could. Our ragamuffin crew of drug addicts and alcoholics cruised our town preaching the gospel to anyone we ran into. One Sunday evening we gathered together for a laughing ministry someone brought to our town. He said he had been touched by God with the spirit of laughter and brought it to share with the congregation. He toured the country sharing this thing.

People rolled around on the floor, fell off chairs, laid on each other, all of them laughing at a joke I had missed. My eyes darted around, nervous. I didn’t see what was funny. I hadn’t been touched. Proof there was something wrong with me.

Everyone I talked to had their own opinions about the right way to live.

Some of them were entrenched in their “way” so much that they believed their path was the only one that would keep you out of the hell fire.  90% of me didn’t believe in that, but the other 10% of me was afraid they were right. It was so confusing because similar religions believed that theirs was the only one that would save you. I wanted to be saved. I needed saving so badly. That whole story about the dirty sinner being washed clean was so appealing. I believed that’s what I was–dirty. The only answer to that is a complete cleansing.

I wanted a rich life based on spiritual principles. But I couldn’t figure out which path to follow.

This church? That church? This method? That method? A combination? Listen to myself? None of the above? Did I have to wait to be cleansed before I could move on? The whole thing was so overwhelming.

There is no right path.

The map of the spiritual life is like a bicycle wheel. Peace is at the center. Each spoke leads to it. It doesn’t matter which spoke you follow, you’ll get there. It’s like an intricate set of monkey bars. Climb down one spoke as long as you can and then jump over to another one and go as far as you can. Keep going that way. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. And rest in between.

Back to the stop sign at the beginning

I could say that just sitting there meant I didn’t go anywhere. But even that’s not true. The real lesson: God uses what’s at hand. You can’t go wrong. Any spoke will take you there. I learned one of my best lessons just sitting there. This: left or right doesn’t matter. Just go.

Keep going that way. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. And when you can’t, curl up. God will meet you right where you are. You have everything you need right here, right now.

 

 

21 Responses to When you don’t know which way to turn, it doesn’t matter. Right or left will get you there.

  1. Suzanna November 5, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    Well, this is so good. How many people do I know who need to read this, Let me count the names… and mine is one!
    Since Madison Avenue has decided it’s time for us to start thinking about “holiday shopping!!!!!” (yes, with that many exclamation points — don’t you watch tv?) I think a better-than-a-box-of-chocolates gift for my loved ones might be a session with Sarah Yost!

  2. Christie Halmick | Jewels Branch Creative November 6, 2012 at 1:13 am #

    Well, one of these days we’ll have to swap church stories! I’m finding peace in making that path for myself but I need the reminder to rest.

    • Sarah Yost November 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

      I think we could all use the reminder to rest. I didn’t know you too had a church history. Mine is relatively short lived but it was dramatic while it was going on.

  3. Jano Brindisi November 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    this inspires so much forgiveness for myself and others. no regrets. it all got us right here.

    • Sarah Yost November 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

      Inspiring self forgiveness–fantastic. We could all use a dose of that.

  4. robin tilly November 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    You speak so straight-arrow true. Love. Love.

  5. Sarah Steele | Managing You Academy November 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Sarah, I love the line God uses whatever’s at hand. So true. And yes, finding the spiritual ‘home’ can be a journey – until we realize it doesn’t really matter what building we enter on a Sunday, ‘home’ is inside of us. Lovely post. Thank you.

    • Sarah Yost November 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

      It really is inside of all of us, Sarah. That’s so helpful to remember.

  6. Cathy Sykora November 7, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    Hi Sarah, everyone is different. I had a lot of brothers and sisters…and my mom used to say that our beauty was in our differences. It is true. I have a really good relationship with my church right now….but it hasn’t always been that way. It is kind of like kids sports…if you can walk away from the politics and enjoy the action…you are good to go. ~Cathy

    • Sarah Yost November 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      Having multiple children myself is so fascinating. We all come here with so much that is in place before any outside things have their influence.

  7. Tina Pruitt November 8, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    Just go. I love that. You’re right….just sitting there will get you nowhere…so, I love the reminder to simply trust that “going” is the right direction for exactly where you are right now. Powerful.
    As always, I appreciate your candor, your truth, your authenticity. Appreciate and honor.
    Just go baby…..
    Tina xo

    • admin November 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

      Sweet Tina. The uncertainty will kill a girl, you know?

  8. Randi Buckley November 8, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    Great post as always, Sarah!

    There is no one right path- and our path sure will change and have different needs once we start down on it. It’s just starting and going, as you say. And no shame in any of them. What we chose was what we thought best at the time. I LOVE that you bring this to entrepreneurs. Thank you!

    • admin November 8, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

      No shame ever. No matter what.

  9. Sheila November 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    Beautiful post, Sarah, I particularly love the visual of the spokes of the bicycle and that it doesn’t really matter which one you choose, you just keep going in the direction that feels ‘right’ and you can always choose another one and just keep going knowing God/Love is always at the center of it all.

    • admin November 8, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

      It’s so helpful to think of it that way. Otherwise, it’s paralyzing.

  10. Yvette | Business Strategist November 9, 2012 at 2:57 am #

    Beautiful post, Sarah!
    My husband always says to me especially, when the monkey brain wants to take over and I start going down the coulda, shoulda, woulda path, that what we chose to do or not do was what we thought best at the time. Like the new look ;-)

  11. rebecca @ altared spaces January 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    ahhh. Having been “slain in the spirit” and denied communion with Mother Teresa’s nuns because I wasn’t confirmed, I’ve got a ton of these stories. You are speaking to the choir girl. I know you love to sing. :)

    I toast to your heart.

    • Sarah January 31, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      I can’t wait to read your memoir.

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