Thursday, January 19, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, decisions. Today it was an easy one. Turn left and go straight to work. Turn right and make a "pit stop" by the drive-thru coffee shop. It was 19 degrees. I had a gift card. Right turn it was. And one Grande White Chocolate Raspberry Mocha later...well, I'm sipping away as I type.

Not all decisions are this easy. Not all decisions bear such insignificance. We've discussed it before - those of us willing to listen and obey if God would just so kindly write the answer in the sky. Wouldn't you simply follow the instructions if they were delivered in your mailbox? Would you not follow if you were handed a road map? Certainly the GPS spouting out directions would be enough to command your course. After all, if we were equipped with a "God Positioning System" how much trouble and headache could we save ourselves? Oh wait. We are. It's called the Holy Spirit. That's another talk for another day...

Back to the matter at hand. When faced with a decision, my first response is to pray. I can be honest with you that rarely does the prayer end and I leave with my definitive answer. I'm sorry to disappoint. So why pray, you ask? Because it begins my acknowledgement of my need for God and His guidance - whatever the situation.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you." Matthew 6:33

Prayer is seeking Him. And it comes first.

Because I'm a "people-person" (we've talked about this, too) my next premonition is to seek counsel.

"Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." Proverbs 11:14

Now here's a little word about seeking advice from others. As a counselor, of course I embrace having someone to bounce ideas off of, or a confidante to provide objective perspective. But where I falter is usually in one of two ways. Either seeking out too many people's opinions and being muddled up by differing viewpoints and overwhelmed with varying opinions - OR -  taking the words from others as the "end all" answer in my vain effort to think maybe one of them is sharing straight from God. (Don't you dare tell me I'm the only one who does this, because I know ONE of you is lying!)

Next I move to the Word. Maybe this is out of order, but this is where I find myself trying to sort through the wisdom and counsel I've received. It's where I replant myself in His truth to be my encouragement and my guide. Do I find the descriptive for the choice I face? Well...

Oswald reminds me, "Never try to help God fulfill His word." So true. See, He will fulfill His word. What word, you ask? The Word that He has a plan for my life, or that His mercies are new each morning, or that He is faithful to complete the work He's begun, or that I can do all things through His strength, or that He's working everything out for my good. Hmm. Good words. Do I believe them? Am I willing to wait on them? Hmm. Tough decision.

So I'm praying. I'm seeking advice. I'm sorting through the counsel. I'm reading His word. And then...I wait. Yep, this is the hardest part. But I know that in my foolish hurriedness I can't try to take things into my own hands. And now it's decision time. This may be a "left turn, right turn" kind of decision, or it may be a white chocolate raspberry or caramel macchiatto kind of decision. It may be the type of decision that alters your course. It may be the decision that changes your perspective. Or, maybe it changes you.

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