Paralyzed at the Rubicon

October 9, 2018

In 49BC, Julius Caesar stood on the banks of the Rubicon River. If he marched his army (the 13th Legion) across the shallow ford he now faced, it would be an open declaration of war against the Roman Senate. If he won that war, he would rule the known world. If he failed, he would lose his governorship and his life. After some time of deliberation, Caesar proclaimed, "Alea iacta est" -- "The die is cast" -- and crossed the Rubicon with his legion, launching the Roman Civil War and his own rise to emperor.


"Crossing the Rubicon" has since became a phrase meaning "passing a point of no return," making a decision which can never be changed. Just as Caesar could never go back once he crossed the river, we sometimes make decisions we can never take back. We also have a sort of opposite phrase now: "decision paralysis." It means having so many options available to you that you can't choose just one and make a final decision. (It's what so many college students experience when picking a major, for example.) It can be hard to make a final, irrevocable decision, to fatefully cast Caesar's die, amid an overabundance of possibilities.


Nevertheless, we all must cross many Rubicons in life: choosing a career, selecting a spouse, deciding whether or not to have children, etc. When those decisions come, we must first ask one additional question: what does God want me to do? We must pause on the shore, discern the will of the Holy Spirit, take into account our abilities and desires, weigh the outside factors, and then cross the river on faith, knowing we do the will of God. Only then can we choose a single option among many, make a final decision which cannot be undone, and march forward.


What decisions in life do you face today? What's the Rubicon you must cross? Ask God for the proper way forward, leave it in His hands, and do what He asks of you. This is the only path to victory.

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