Navigating Crossroads

Have you ever come to crossroads on a journey and been unsure which path to take? Perhaps road signs are somewhat askew or missing, or the roads have changed since the last navigation update. How can you determine which direction is right?

Often, we encounter crossroads in life that are just as confusing as an actual intersection in the road. Maybe it’s a job offer that sounds appealing on many levels, but something about it holds you back and makes you question your decision. Or perhaps it’s a relationship that presents enough red flags to make you hesitant to commit. Are you being overcautious or wise?

Following are thoughts on navigating crossroads:

Seek Direction

Years ago, in the infancy of navigation systems, we had one of those stick-on-the-dash kind. Our son was a teen at the time and he and his friends named the system Nancy because they said the voice sounded like a Nancy. I was never quite sure how they derived that name for the voice, but it stuck and we all called it Nancy.

Our Nancy did a pretty good job navigating, but it was also easy for her to get confused. On one trip, we decided to stop for lunch. As we made turns not in keeping with Nancy’s directions, she said “recalculating” repeatedly. Finally, with increased volume and with lifelike exasperation in her voice, she all but yelled, “As soon as possible, make a U-turn!”

On another occasion, Nancy got confused and directed me to proceed in a triangular fashion around country roads. I finally realized I was traveling the same triangle and stopped to ask directions from a real person.

In life, be careful from whom you seek direction. People may sound knowledgeable, but sometimes they aren’t, or they will lead you down a path you never intended to travel. Be wise. Test advice against what you know to be true and in keeping with your faith and values. Don’t be led astray by those who don’t have your best interests in mind.

Determine Your Ultimate Destination

Last year, after months of being at home, my husband and I took a drive with no particular destination in mind. We stopped at roadside stands, wound through backroads, stopped for a meal, and then went home by a different route. While this type of drive is good if you are unscheduled, most of the time when we travel, we have a destination in mind and choose the fasted route.

In the journey of life, goals are good. Goals spur us forward and help us focus. However, in the pursuit of goals, don’t lose sight of the importance of relationships, spiritual development, and personal growth, which help you advance with balance and ultimately reach a God-directed destination.

Overcome Indecision

If you’ve ever taken a wrong road and gotten lost, it’s hard to avoid indecision when you come to a crossroads again. Past choices that didn’t turn out to be good ones tend to make us hesitant the next time we have to make decisions. But indecision paralyzes and may cause us to miss out on opportunities. Weigh options, seek guidance, pray, and then decide.

Don’t Be Afraid of Detours

Recently, I traveled to a friend’s house that is about 45 minutes from mine. I’ve been there many times before, but as I was leaving home, she sent a text message alerting me to a detour. I was thankful for the warning because a portion of the detour was in the opposite direction from her house. Even as I followed the detour signs, I felt uncertain.

Detours can be frightening. They take you places you hadn’t planned to go. Detours may sideline us in a season of waiting or delay forward motion. However, ultimately, detours are for our protection and are temporary.

If a detour takes your life in a direction you didn’t anticipate, don’t allow fear to overwhelm you. Trust that God is in control of your life and charting the course that is best for you.

“You are standing at the crossroads. So consider your path. Ask where the old, reliable paths are. Ask where the path is that leads to blessing and follow it. If you do, you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16 NET).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including:,,,,, Focus on the Family,,, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

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