Coming, Going, or Staying?

I was reading a Christian fantasy this morning, and a certain chapter hit home with me.  Overall, the book has been quite uninteresting.  In fact, if it weren't for a review, I would have set it aside by now.  You'll hear more about this later, but for now, I wanted to share with you something that I did get out of the book.

The last chapter I read was an encounter with three different groups of gnomes.  The first group was content to sit in the middle of a cave filled with tunnels and go nowhere.  Their philosophy was that they weren't either happy or sad where they were, and if they left and ended up somewhere they didn't want to be, they would be much worse off, so it was better to just stay put.  The second group loved to explore, but they were very indecisive.  They would barely explore the beginnings of a tunnel before they would decide that maybe they should try a different tunnel instead.  Thus, they had explored the beginnings of most of the tunnels but had no idea where any of them led.  The third group explored the tunnels to their fullest extent and made maps along the way so they could keep track of where they had been and where each tunnel led.

As I read, the tale was both comical and convicting.  The question soared through my mind:  which group of gnomes am I most like?  Am I content to stay where I am in life, neither happy or sad, unproductive but never having to take a risk?  Do I wander around aimlessly, never finishing the things I start and always second-guessing the Lord's will for my life?   Or am I willing to explore the open doors set before me, following the map (the Bible) that God has given me to guide my way?

The more I thought about it, the more I felt I resembled the second group of gnomes.  I thought about the many projects I felt the Lord was leading me to complete that now sit unfinished on my hard drive or in my office.  I thought about the many times I forsook my calling to chase after the latest scheme or money-making effort because I felt I wasn't contributing enough financially to our family.  I thought about the many times I started down the same path again and again.  Yes, to my dismay, I related the best with the second group.  But I don't have to stay that way, and I don't intend to.

What about you?  Where are you in life?  Which group of gnomes do you resemble most, and are you happy about your findings?  If not, rest assured that we can grow.  We can become better Christians.  We can learn to trust more and to follow better.  Our only limit is our unwillingness.