The word “quandary” has been on my mind lately—because I have been in one. The Oxford dictionary defines this as “a state of perplexity or uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation.” I had to laugh because the example given to use it in a sentence was “Kate is in a quandary.”
Recently I offered to send a 21 day discernment process I had put together last year to a friend whose church is in a “quandary” now. In leafing through what I had written, I came to day ten’s entry which included these questions:
- When I (we) look back a year from now, what would I (we) like to have done?
- Am I (are we) aware of all the options?
- What are the possible consequences of each option?
- Am I (are we) telling myself (ourselves) the truth? (Too often we tell ourselves what we want to hear).
- Does this feel right? (Is thinking about the option energizing or draining?)
- What would I (we) do if I (we) weren’t afraid?
Well, one might wonder: Why Hadn’t I Thought of Using This For Myself?! So, I got out my journal and began to write. All of these questions I found helpful, but some were particularly illuminating. What would I do if I weren’t afraid? I think back on my senior year in college. The recruiter for Peace Corps was on campus. As a reporter for the school paper, I was sent to interview her. She and I instantly “clicked.” She strongly encouraged me to apply. And I wanted to. But that would have meant being far from the safety and familiarity of home. I couldn’t (wouldn’t) bring myself to take the risk.
Looking back, I can see that just the leap from college student to employed person out in the world was daunting enough to me. Going to a foreign country seemed like a bridge too far. But I also see that I sometimes rule doable things out as too difficult, impossible even, without giving those things time to percolate, time for a path to evolve.
So should you ever find yourself in a “quandary,” I recommend these questions. Ponder them. Get out pen and paper and respond to them. You might well discover some enlightenment on your dilemma, perhaps even resolution to it.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: Raise a toast to Hope’s Café! This post represents one full year of blogs coming to you every Friday! 😊