Making a Decision

Ahh! Which way am I supposed to go?
How many times a crucial turning points in out lives do we struggle deciding which choice we should make.
Decision making comes easy for some, but most of us choke when it presents itself. I remember as a senior in college trying to figure out whether I should pursue a career in accounting or a career in ministry with Young Life. That late winter and spring before I graduated was filled with questions, worries and thinking. How was I going to figure out what I was supposed to do?? I felt pressure. I was scared of making the wrong decision.
So what do we do when a tough decision must be made? You may feel like curling up into the fetal position. At the end of the day the decision is still before you.

Here’s two verses that helped me immensely as tried to figure out to join The Navigators. The first is part of a text that I had memorized as a freshman in college. It spoke volumes to me then, but now all these years later the Lord was teaching me something new from it. James 1:5  says in the NIV “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Wisdom was exactly what I knew I had to have. I did not know which way would be the best. I wanted to figure it out. The good news was the Lord had the wisdom and he wanted to give it to me! I was attracted to the truth of that verse. God was going to give me the wisdom I needed. Yes!

Well it wasn’t that easy because verse six said, “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” Gulp. I was being called to have faith. At moments when I wasn’t feeling it, that was hard to face. It was those moments when the journey was fuzzy, that it was so hard to gather the strength to believe he was going to give me the wisdom.

So knew that Lord was telling me two things. He could give me the wisdom I needed. He was calling me to trust him as waited for him to grant me his wisdom. Faith and wisdom were the issues.

As the process continued Helen and I thought that wisdom was telling us to consider The Navs as the choice. It seemed like the best use of my gifts, passions and experience. So we were starting to take steps that way.

At that point I the Lord put another verse before me. Again, it was a verse I had known for years and it was going to teach me something new. Wisdom told me The Navigators was the best fit. This verse spoke a new attitude as I moved forward.

Proverbs 3:5 says in the NIV “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” It was that last part of the verse the spoke to me. I was not to lean on my own understanding. Now that might seem to counter what I had just learned about wisdom. God wasn’t saying don’t trust your wisdom.

What this “lean not on your own understanding” meant to me was to have an open hand with what I had gained through wisdom. I believed I was to move towards The Navs, but I needed to allow God to work circumstantially if I had gotten it wrong. I know we can get things wrong, even if we pray for wisdom. Good followers of God have made wrong choices even though they’ve prayed and sought wisdom. So likewise humility demands that we allow for the Lord to move if we aren’t going the way he desires. My hand was open if the Lord wanted to move me in a different direction or if he wanted to pluck The Navs out of my hand. I was giving him to permission to lead me in a different direction otherwise I was going to continue knocking on the door of The Navigators.

What did the Lord do with that request? He pushed us even stronger towards the way we were thinking. The Navs accelerated the interview process with us, someone told me they wanted to give towards whatever my future ministry would be, another ministry option I was interviewing with called to say I was not an option anymore. These and more were the ways the Lord moved. It was the way I was not going to only lean on my own understanding I would also trust him to lead. It had been confirmed that we were headed in the right direction. I was so grateful for the Lord’s leading.

James 1 told me to seek wisdom and trust him to give it to me. Proverbs 3:5 cautioned me not to solely trust my conclusions. I was going to allow the Lord to move and lead if I had gotten it wrong. My hand would be open as I moved towards what I believe was the smartest move for me.

Decisions will always be scary from time to time. Yet the Lord is generous in giving wisdom. He wants us to succeed and flourish. We must continue to live by faith and trust him to grant wisdom and direction.

One Response to “Making a Decision”
  1. Dane says:

    One of the other things I learned along the way about decision making was from my friends Bill Quigley. He would always tell me, “Think through as best as you can. You can’t make a decision that won’t have some difficulties. There is no way to know ahead of time all the things that could happen. Think smartly and move ahead.”

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