It’s a new year. I could wax philosophical, but I’ll save that for another day perhaps.
But I have been thinking about choices. We make them all the time, usually without thinking about it. For example, each morning I choose to put on a pair of socks. There are other options – I could go sockless. And I could choose a different colour, but instead I usually just take the first pair my hand touches in the drawer. When it comes to socks, I guess you could say I just go with the flow.
That’s fine for the little things, but I try to be a bit more deliberate in my choices when it comes to more important issues. I don’t plan out the minutiae of my life, but I do like to have some idea of where I am going and how I am going to get there.
The sign in today’s post is a type common in the Black Forest area, giving directions on how to get to various communities. I snapped this one last week in Staufen, because it seems to me to be somewhat contradictory. Take a look.
The sign seems to me much like my life (or your life) is at the beginning of 2018. Oh, it could be any day, but since today is January 1 we’ll go with that as our starting point.
Things can be a bit confusing when you look at the sign. For example, if you turn left, you can go to St. Johanniskapelle. It is two kilometres away. If you go right, 180 degrees in the opposite direction, St. Johanniskapelle is closer, 1.2 kilometres. Does that make sense to you?
I walked to Staufen from Sulzburg, so I know the distance between the two points. The sign offers me two choices if I turn right – either six or eight kilometres. In Germany, as in life, there is more than one way to get to a destination. (I was walking – I think I took the shorter route.)
Those choices may explain why Badenweiler is either 12.5 or 18 kilometres to the right. You must make some choices along the way. Some will get you to your destination more quickly. Perhaps the longer route is more scenic. If you don’t decide what route you want to take, someone else will make the choice for you – and you might not like the results.
As 2018 begins, it is up to you to look at the road ahead and decide what direction you want to take. It helps if you know where you want to wind up. As 2017 began I lived in Ottawa – but I could have told you that I would end the year living in Germany, starting a new career. There was a plan; the direction was set, though the details still to be worked out.
Of course, it makes it easier of you have a map to where you want to go (or perhaps in these more technological times, a GPS, though those can be deceiving on occasion). Certainly, when the signs are confusing, as they are in the photo, it is nice to have help to solve the puzzle.
You can find a map to help navigate the Black Forest, but is there a trustworthy map to get you through life? The answer is: yes. It is called The Bible. If you are like most people you have heard of it, but haven’t actually read it yourself. Maybe that is what you should make a priority in 2018, discovering for yourself what you can do to live life to its fullest.
It is all in the book; read it and you won’t get distracted by the confusing road signs we come across from time to time. I look forward to you telling me about it this time next year (or even earlier if you like – you know where to find me.