We live beside a wooded area so there are plenty of other trees for the birds and squirrels to nurture their small families this spring and, while it was a nice enough tree, it was not particularly spectacular. But I do hate to loose a tree. We either plant a "fast growing tree" (which is only fast by comparison to long-growth trees after all) or we go for a longer lasting tree that we can assume will be a legacy for a future owner.
This is like a lot of decisions we face whether replacing an appliance or buying a car or looking for a job. How long? How much? Where? When? And all we can do is make the best decisions we can make based on our current information and then do our best not to waste time second guessing our decisions.
It seems to me that, while the amount of time and energy we spend on gathering facts before a decision varies by the seriousness of the matter being considered, in the end we never know how any particular decision will turn out. But I have been surprised and delighted to realize that even when I think I have made a mistake or taken a wrong turn, God is already where I am going and the lessons I learn along the way, including from the "mistakes," wind up being really valuable at a later point in my journey.
This what I long to see painted in a large mural in the biggest common area of every jail and prison. "Your past choices only restrict your capacity to make better choices if you let them." But I need it posted around my house too. That does not mean we have no responsibility to make the best choices we can. It only means that God is bigger than any mistake I can make.
Watching someone I love sliding down the slippery slope of self-will-run-riot is the most frightening experience I have ever had, but fortunately for all of us involved, God is bigger than the problem, bigger than my fears and bigger than the challenges facing my incarcerated loved one.
Sleep well tonight, my friend. God did not leave either you or I in charge.