Ruth had to decide what to do. We read in Ruth 1:7 that she was on a road that would take her from her home and all she knew. It would lead her to a new life far away. But there was a moment when she was given a choice. Go back or go forward. Choose A or B. This is like the “fork in the road” analogy but she actually was on a road and she had to choose her direction. In life, since we don’t know the future, we can only imagine how each choice and direction will affect our lives.
The crux of this moment for Ruth, however, is that she wasn’t alone. She was with Naomi, her mother-in-law, and Orpah, her sister-in-law. Naomi stopped everyone on the road and urged the two to go back. Ultimately, Orpah did go back; it was an understandable choice. But Ruth made a choice that involved trust, loyalty, and commitment. Ruth didn’t actually commit to go forward; she committed to go wherever Naomi went. She chose to bind herself to Naomi and live life with her, take care of her, support her, and even worship Naomi’s God with her.
So what I call a “Ruth moment” is a fork in the road of life where rather than a direction, we choose to trust, follow, and commit to someone else – a spouse, a family member, or maybe just to God. Committing to follow God is perhaps the most important Ruth moment we can have. It will affect everything else we do from then on. And if we choose a path and also have God along side us, or make a choice because we have God with us, then we are open to such wonderful blessings and rewards.
The last thought on this is that sometimes we give these important decisions a lot of thought and consideration. That’s not a bad thing. Writing a list of pros and cons can clarify what we know, what we don’t know, and what we value. But I think that often we already know the answer in our soul – especially if we are making that choice with God by our side. If we are clinging to God’s hand as we go forward, our Ruth moments can be confident decisions that open us up to unimaginable blessings.
For Ruth, she chose to go forward and committed herself to Naomi and God. There was much uncertainty ahead. But her loyalty and kindness to Ruth brought her respect, food, and even the love of her future husband, Boaz. Their great grandson was David – the one who felled Goliath, the one who became King David. Ruth didn’t know it, but her choice set the stage for what God had already planned for us all.