Choice, Choices, or Choicelessness?

roadsigns-arrows-in-different-directionsA lot of spiritual teachers, particularly Christian ones, tend to describe the spiritual path as if it is a one time, single decision. So you “give your complicated-decision-pathlife to Jesus,” or get baptized, or say a “sinner’s prayer,” and you are done. Anyone who has lived for a while knows that there is no path of human decision-making that involves just one step. Suppose you decide to go to the baseball game this weekend. You will need to decide who you would like to have go with you and see if they are available. Then you will have to get tickets, decide how you will get to the ballpark, if you drive decide how much you are willing to pay for parking, choose whether or not to tail gate before the game, set aside money for refreshments inside the game, and get yourself and your friends home after the game. It looks a lot more like the picture on the right than the picture on the left – and so does any realistic description of the spiritual path. We make a number of increasingly complex decisions on any journey, and any attempt to simplify the path to a one step decision simply isn’t fair to you, the spiritual traveler, because you will doubtless encounter situations for which you aren’t prepared simply by virtue of expecting simplicity. It’s much healthier to head out knowing what to expect.

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