You stand on the near bank of the Rubicon, knowing the way forward takes you to the other side. Once crossed, it’s a river that can’t be uncrossed. Behind is all that’s familiar, ahead is all that’s uncertain.
But when the path ahead lies on the far bank, how long do you sit on the near bank and worry about the path behind, rather than focusing on the path ahead? Do you know in your soul the crossing should be made – the crossing that can’t be undone? You can only get to the other side by leaving this side.
Maybe your job is draining the soul from you through mediocrity. The job is familiar, and some days feel “good enough”. It’s a hard crossing to choose. The ear of your soul hears the path on the other side.
Maybe you have a good job now, but on the other side you see the path of a great opportunity. You like your current job, but the song your soul hears from the other side can’t be ignored.
Maybe it’s a new baby coming into your life soon, and the crossing’s already begun. You’re scared and worried about the path on the other side, but like friends waving in the rear-view mirror as you drive away, you see clearly your old comfortable life fading behind as the far shore of the Rubicon you’re crossing comes closer.
Maybe it’s a decision to go back to college, and leave the routine you’ve become accustomed to. To force yourself into a new routine that leads to places unknown. Maybe it’s an upcoming college graduation. College life is predictable and protected, and the job market’s been lousy for years. What waits on the other side? What will you make of your life when you step away from this near shore?
To quote Caesar, “Let us march where we are called by such a divine intimation. The die is cast.”
Life’s path brings us many times to the edge of the Rubicon. In most cases, we’re called to paths on the far shore, while still held to paths on the near shore. The decision to cross isn’t often easy, and crossing might not always be the right answer. But in all cases, if we’re standing at the bank of the Rubicon, what brought us here? Are we being pushed into the river from behind, or being called from the far shore into the crossing?
My children are all grown, and they’re finding their own crossings, either back into college, or graduating from college, or headed overseas into new jobs. So I’m finding myself spending a great deal of time on the banks of the Rubicon, wondering why my path has brought me here. I’m enjoying the bank of the river, listening carefully with the ears of my soul. It’s good to have age and patience on your side when life leads you to the bank of the Rubicon.