Sometimes I wonder why I set myself up by expecting decision-making to be easy. I am trotting along on this road called life and I think it’s going to be smooth sailing. I mean, the sky’s the limit! I am in control of own destiny and can pretty much do what I like …well almost. Then suddenly, I come across a crossroads and I am just standing there…stock still, trying to figure out which path is the one for me.
After a while, I get sort of tired and I sit down. I look up one path, then turn my head and look up the other. I find something like a pebble on the road in the shape of what possibly may be an arrow and wonder: Is this a sign? Then I realize I am not sure which way this so-called arrow was pointing before I picked it up. So, I look for another sign. When that doesn’t work, I take out a sheet of crumpled paper from the back pocket of my jeans and make a list of all the pros and cons and try to reason it out. After all, I was raised by parents who taught me to be reasonable, responsible and practical. I look at my list with pride and then ….slowly….begin to feel….
Ahhh, but then I remember …I’ve got instincts! Haven’t I heard of fan-tab-ulous stories of people whose instincts came to their rescue? They knew not to get on that plane, or not to trust that person or to phone a loved one when they sensed trouble. So I search my spirit, my gut and I think….I’m getting it….yes…I think I’ve got it now… and the next minute I think: What?! No way! I can’t do that! It’s not practical.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Having to make a life-impacting decision can be a huge source of stress, especially when the decision involves other people such as your family. Is there a formula to know how to make important decisions?
Sorry, but no. This post is not entitled The Top Ten Sure-fire Ways To Make A Decision That Will Come Out Right Every Time. I have known some people who claim that every decision they make is God-led meaning God or their instinct tells them what to do and they just do it…really? Every decision? I have also known some people to use only their heads when making a decision…they are happy with this process but don’t always seem generally happy with their lives. The way I see it is that every decision is different and needs to be handled differently. God gave us a mind and a spirit. We need to use both. Personally, I must admit that I do trust instinct more than mind …well ….sort of …generally but my mind tends to argue it out with my spirit.
So what can we do? Well, in some cases go with instinct first. For instance, if you have a strong instinct not to trust your child to someone and you need to make a decision right then and there, then of course go with your instinct. On the other hand, if you are worrying about quitting your job and starting your own business, use all of your intellect and plan carefully and don’t jump into anything.
Another thing which I find helpful is having some core beliefs in place. What do you really, really believe is important? When trying to make a hard decision, I sometimes will ask myself, Which decision is the most loving? Which decision will impact the most positively on those around me? Which choice doesn’t compromise my integrity or my ethical stance? You don’t want to do make a choice which you end up feeling guilty about.
Sometimes, God’s Holy Spirit will give you a strong impulse to do something which seems impossible. If you find yourself overcome because the impulse is that strong then going with that impulse just may be the right thing to do. Pray and meditate about it. Obviously, if you are married or in a committed relationship then the decision should be discussed between the two of you. But also be careful who else you discuss your choices with. Some people are naysayers and others are dreamers.
One final thing, although choices are not always easy to make, be grateful that you get to choose and when you finally do choose, take ownership of whatever the outcome is.