We have some big decisions to make in the next couple of days.  Those decisions will be difficult, painful, and will have significant consequences for our family in the coming months.  As we lay in bed last night, doing our final hugs and a kiss, Judy said, “It’s so hard to know the right thing to do.”

“Isn’t that the truth,” was all I could muster.  The options and implications had overwhelmed me throughout the day.

But the fact is, it’s not hard to know the right thing to do. It’s impossible to know the right thing to do.  The options we were thinking about were so full of our own agenda, our fears, our expectations that it was impossible to think clearly about the options.

In addition, the likely consequences of each option were impossible to know.  We had no way of knowing how any of these options would play out.  I am careful to use “play out” rather than “turn out.”   “Turn out” implies there is an end point, a place at which you can dust your hands off on your pants and say, “There, that’s it.”

Life doesn’t work that way.  Maybe there’s an end point to some small tasks or projects, but there is no end point to life events.  Even when a decision is made, even when an end point seems to be reached, life just keeps unfolding.  Every event leads to others.  Each decision has its own DNA with all kinds of implications and consequences, and each decision brings other decisions and implications.  There is no “turning out.”  There is only “playing out” which goes on and on.

We have decisions to make, and I will likely write about those later when I have the permission of those involved.  For now, we must do something necessary but impossible.  We must make a decision that has huge implications, and we must make it without knowing how it will turn out.  We can only take our first step in the direction of our best guess and then take the next tentative step when the time comes.