One of the parenting truths I realized as my kids got older is that they will one day be completely responsible for their own choices, just like I was. When they were in high school, instead of giving them a litany of rules to follow, I simply reminded them to “make good choices,” knowing some of them would be good and some maybe not, but they would have to own them.
We have choices in life. Some of our choices are good ones and some, not so much. We’ve all made good ones and we’ve all made bad ones. Even our bad ones, however, seemed good at the time. Hopefully we learn from those to make better choices next time.
I’ve lived long enough to know that every choice has a consequence, which makes some choices extremely difficult to make.
Some of you know I work as a leader with the youth group in our church. Some of our youth are in the process of deciding which college to attend. In discussion about that a few weeks ago, one of them asked our youth pastor his opinion between two schools. His answer was essentially this. (I paraphrase).
A lot of times we feel as though God has a singular path for our lives and we are trying to find it. We think there’s a specific stone path to take and we don’t want to deviate from it, but the reality is that it’s more like a large field with a fence around be the edges to guide us us to follow within boundaries that are healthy for us but we can choose to be wherever we want in the field.
Sometimes it’s easier to make a choice when there isn’t one.
Faced with a “this or that”, the analytical side of me pulls out a spreadsheet to track the pros and cons of each choice, trying to find the best solution. So people make decisions based on gut feel (Myers Briggs calls them the “feelers”). I tend to make decisions based on data (Myers Briggs calls them the “thinkers”, not to imply that those who make decision based on gut don’t think, but rather that they make decision based on intuition rather than data.) I am ridiculously data focused, perhaps to a fault.
In general, I find it fairly easy to make decisions – some I make quickly, and move on without time to assess regret. I can walk into a store and very quickly peruse the rack and decide if I’m interested in anything or not. When faced with a really important decision that has the potential to be life-altering, career-altering, or family-altering, however, I pull out the spreadsheet, and try to contemplate potential consequences.
The Bible recommends to seek counsel when making decisions, perhaps from those you trust, or those who have made similar decisions.
20 Hear counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come.
Proverbs 19:20 | AMP
14 Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Proverbs 11:14 | AMP
Gathering all the data you can find, seeking counsel of those you trust, some choices are still hard to make. If we could see down the road, around the bend, it would be easier.
I was reminded this morning that sometimes we get only a lamp unto our feet, not a light that lights the whole path.
I guess that’s what faith is for…
Be blessed, today, my friends.
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