Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
I hate making decisions. Honestly when I have two things in front of me, I can usually make a decisive decision. However, give it a couple days (or even a couple minutes) and I immediately start thinking about how that decision has changed the course of my entire life. I can still remember the day during my first year of college when I started to panic about the college I had chosen. I had gone to the zoo that day and after walking through the primate section was convinced I wanted to be a zoologist. I started looking at zoology programs and for the better part of a week I planned my move. I was worried that I had made a huge mistake, and my life would be forever ruined. I gave it a couple more days and everything was alright. I knew that I was in a great place, and that no matter what my current course of study (BA in Bible and Theology) was good choice.
It is funny. I talk to so many people that can be paralyzed by decisions. They look at all that is in front of them, and they start to freak out. What if I make the wrong choice? Choosing a college, choosing a major, choosing what to eat for breakfast, almost none of these will make or break my life, but all too often I get paralyzed with fear. In modern parlance we could call it FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). If I choose this thing, then I can’t choose that other thing over there. By opening one door, I will inevitably close another. If I have the eggs and bacon for breakfast, I can’t have the waffles. What if the waffles are better than the eggs and bacon? What if I was meant to eat the waffles?
The fascinating thing about this, is that I rarely find myself in a situation where I have to choose between two bad things or a good and a bad thing (come on, both breakfast options are great). Normally the choices that capture me are between two good things. I can either have chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream… guess what, they are both ice cream! Yet, having a choice can lead to not making a decision or letting someone else make the decision for me because I am afraid of the possibility of missing out.
The thing I have come to realize, however, is that this attitude often comes from a place of ingratitude. All too often I am not grateful for the good that God has given me, and I fear that I am missing out on some blessing that he could have given me if I had chosen the prize behind door two instead of door one. I am a little too afraid that God is like the host on ‘Let’s Make a Deal’. What if he is giving me something horrible behind door number one and I could have gotten a new car behind door number two? This attitude leads to being unhappy with every decision. My life would have been way better if only I had chosen differently.
Most of my decisions in life are about an abundance of good. Realizing this, having this sink into my heart, has changed how I think about decision making. I can more readily walk into a decision with confidence and gratitude.
The Lord has promis'd good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
I am still learning to trust that the Lord has promised to be good to his children. I am learning to believe that he will not give me a stone when I ask for bread (Matt 7:9-11). Having faith in the promises of God, changes how I approach life. I can approach choices grateful that the Lord has placed before me options and trusting that he will be good and true to his promises; not worried I will miss out, but excited about the abundance of good he has bestowed on me.