As Julius Caesar stood at the bank of the Rubicon river he faced two choices. Obey Roman law and surrender command of his army and proceed to Rome alone, or cross with his army and effectively begin a civil war. The story attributes Caesar with the phrase “The die is now cast” as he crossed with his army, effectively declaring that he had crossed the point of no return.
I have long been a fan of ancient Roman history, and this phrase has always been a personal favorite of mine. It is the reason for the picture on the main page of this site. While I do not seek to start an insurrection as Caesar did, I think it is an apt reminder when faced with a daunting prospect.
Life is full of daunting and intimidating choices. We are often faced with the option of doing the easy and safe thing, or taking a risk. Far too many of us, myself included on several occasions, would rather not cause any waves, not take that extra chance. Taking those chances may lead to failure, may lead to pain. However it is through the taking of those risks that we stand to gain the most. The choices I have been most thankful for in my life have been those when I took a chance, when I let the die be cast. As with any game of chance sometimes you will lose, but to me that isn’t really living.
I remember in exacting detail the major choices in my life. Do I sign up for Air Force ROTC or do I not? Should I ask this girl out? Am I ready to buy this engagement ring? What job should I apply for in the Air Force? Am I really ready to leave active duty? Is this going to be the first house we buy?
Life is full of challenging and nerve-racking choices. Don’t back down from them. Weigh your options, but know that sometimes you just have to cross that river.