Decisions are usually tricky events in our lives. They are essentially mental and spiritual crossroads we encounter that require us to make a choice as to which direction to go. Now, I’m not talking about the decision to go to Burger King or Wendy’s. This movie or that movie. Chocolate or vanilla. I’m talking about the decisions that will impact our lives, our future, and those around us.
There are most definitely low impact and high impact decisions. Low impact are important, as well as somewhat painful to deal with if things don’t go well, but nonetheless, easily recovered from if failure occurs. For example, “I cannot believe I paid $XXX for that thing. I should have done more research and checked other prices first. I should have waited. Oh well, it’s done and I need to get over it.”
Then there’s the high impact. This decision, if made poorly, will cost me money . . . maybe years of savings . . . time . . . years of wasted effort . . . energy . . . that can never be made back. And it will hurt people . . .people I do not want to hurt. . . . . But, if I make the right choice . . . well, to cut to the chase . . . blessing for everyone.
Those are tough crossroads. We honestly don’t like standing at those. Because we know the risk. We feel the pain. They take real work, real prayer, real sweat, real time and energy.
Here’s a few thoughts for the next time you stand at the crossroads of a high impact decision:
1-Don’t ignore anything. That feeling in your gut. That voice in your head and heart. The people you trust who are speaking to you. Heighten your senses and listen. Consider all factors. No ignoring.
2-Lose your own will. Become as neutral as you can possibly become. When we sinners decide quickly that we badly want—or don’t want—something, we’ve usually already made the decision and it likely won’t be the best one.
3-Go ahead and spend a day pretending like you made the decision toward one direction. Think like it. Act like it. Be it. How does it feel? Stress or relief? Good or bad? The next day, flip to the other choice and see how that feels.
4-Get counsel from either an elder (godly, older man) or a group of peers that you know love you. I’m not talking about Job’s friends, but Garden friends, the ones who would stay awake and pray and fight for you.
5-Shut up and listen to God. . . . A lot of listening. You likely have already made it very clear to Him what you need or want. Now, allow Him to speak to you. He’s your Father, so He wants to let you in on what He’s thinking for your life.
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. —Matthew 6:6 MSG