Do you ever have a hard time making a decision? How long does it take you in the morning to pick out what clothes you are going to wear? I heard of a man who wanted to simplify his life, so he decided to only wear black suits, with a starched white dress shirt, complimented by a solid black tie, set off by as you might expect polished black dress shoes and black socks. I guess you could say he liked his decisions to be black and white!
Of course, most decisions in life even the simple ones force us to wrestle with various shades of gray. Very few decisions in life are cut and dry, most confront you with too many choices and options. This reality gives credence to Matz’s Maxium which simply states:
“A conclusion is the place you get tired of thinking.”
For many people one of the issues that compound their inability to make decisions, especially the significant ones in life resides in the stark reality they don’t know what they want or where they are going in life.
Lewis Carroll captured so vividly this dilemma in his classic story “Alice in Wonderland.” You may remember the pivotal point in the story when Alice bumps into the Cheshire Cats at a fork in the road and inquires: “Would you please tell me which way I should go from here?”
The inquisitive cat asked: “That depends a great deal on where you want to get to…”
Surprisingly Alice replied: “I don’t much care…”
To which the wise cat answered: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
Far too many people wander aimlessly through life not knowing where they are going, and end up right where they intended to go…they end up nowhere.
Steven Covey, in his classic leadership book Seven Habits for Highly Effective People noted that effective people learn early on the importance of “beginning with the end in mind.”
The call of Jesus on his earliest followers revolved around an invitation to join him on the great adventure of life. He simply said, “Come, follow me….” The simple truth remains, Jesus still calls us to follow him through all the twists and turns of life.
Paul described this reality to his friends in Philippi this way: “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12b-13 ESV)
Paul realized God himself enables us to make wise choices at the crossroads of our lives by working in us “to will (to decide) and to work (to do) for his good pleasure.” Simply put, if you want to know what God wants you to do…listen close to the whisper of the Holy Spirit…and step out in faith.
Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit movement, taught his early disciples to nurture what he called a “holy indifference” to decisions. He challenged them to lay aside their own personal agendas, desires, and dreams, and to yield completely to the voice of God resonating deep in their hearts and souls.
Ignatius captured well the invitation of Jesus when he called out: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”
If you stand at a crossroads in your journey today, give up control for once, and choose to follow Jesus wherever He leads, and let the adventure of faith begin…I promise you will enjoy the journey, besides you will be traveling in great company!