Do you ever feel like you’re standing on a precipice? You have two choices – turn back to what you know or jump in and don’t look back.
Now I’m not proposing you should go jump off a cliff, but as I’ve studied the book of Ruth recently, I’ve been struck by the impact of our choices.
The book opens with three women. Naomi, who has just lost her husband and sons, is headed back to her hometown. With her are her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. They’re on the road with Naomi, headed to her homeland, when Naomi urges them to return to their homes and remarry. Lots of lessons here, but what struck me is the choice before these two women.
They could choose to return to their families, their culture, their gods (who were not gods at all, but still familiar), and continue on in the comfortable. Or they could choose to leave everything they’d ever known behind, go to an unfamiliar land with unfamiliar customs where they would likely be looked down upon due to their nationality (see Deuteronomy 23:3-6), and serve an unknown God.
Two women, two very different choices.
Orpah chose to remain comfortable. The result? An unimpressive life. She is mentioned twice in all of scripture and that’s right here in Ruth 1 as she makes a decision that will set the course of her life forever.
And Ruth? She chooses to step into the unknown and follow God. That choice led to a life that left a lasting impact, one that is remembered and discussed thousands of centuries later. Most importantly, she is listed in the ancestry of Jesus Christ.
We are all faced with a similar choice. We all like the comfortable, but what would happen if we modeled Ruth instead of Orpah? We can settle into the familiar and comfortable – which might include walking with God but not choosing to do the seemingly risky things He calls us to do – or we can step out in faith, following Him into the unknown and watching as He does amazing things that change the world.