We all have choices to make, big and small, every day. Some are harder than others. And many affect others. I had to choose recently to either accept a faculty position at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference this past week and miss going to my annual family reunion or vice versa. It wasn’t easy…my dad has been suffering with cancer and we’re just not sure what the future holds. But I prayed about it, and felt I couldn’t ignore my commitment to be of service to other Christian writers – and further God’s word by getting out the books I write, which are contemporary novels based on Old Testament stories in the Bible. Which choice would be more self serving? Which less? Finally, I prayed, which choice served God more? It wasn’t about me feeling guilty or sad about choosing one or another. Usually with the really tough choices we have to sacrifice our feelings, our desires. I talked to my dad yesterday on the drive back home from Kentucky and he told me he had a good time at the reunion and felt great, and said next year it will be even better because it would be the 20th annual! Then he asked how my conference and subsequent book signing went and I told him great, smiling through my tears. Sure I missed him and the aunts, cousins and kids. Was I doing the Lord’s work? I sure hope so. “When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ Another disciple said to him, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.’ (Matt 8:21-22) and Jesus also said, ”Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.’ (Matt 10:37-38) I believe Jesus isn’t saying don’t love your father and mother (of course He’s not, that’s in the Ten Commandments) or take the time to bury them…but saying sometimes you have to put yourself and them aside, no matter the cost, to follow Him. I pray for the guidance to make the right choices and take the right roads to follow Jesus, wherever they lead and whatever sacrifices await.