When You Have a Choice to Make
"And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left." Isaiah 30:21 (ESV)
According to recent statistics, I made 5,000 decisions today. Seriously?
Well, I made a decision to get out of bed. I made a choice to put on my tennis shoes and run at 6 a.m.
I chose peanut butter Cheerios? over oatmeal. I decided which bills to pay. What to make for dinner. Whether to answer a phone call. Which clothes to wear. Whether the plants needed watering or if they could wait another day. I chose to fill up the small car instead of the gas-guzzler.
I may have made more than 5,000 decisions today!
Some of our everyday choices are random, others weighty, but many of our decisions are choice points. Choice points are seemingly insignificant decisions yet they lead us in one direction or another.
I choose whether to react in anger, or respond with understanding to my husband.
I choose whether or not to create drama with a friend who hurt my feelings.
I choose time with my Heavenly Father, or push that time to another day ... again.
I choose whether or not to say those words that cause my child pain.
Recently I was on a mission trip and the team was exhausted after nearly six days of intense travel. We had missed a train and stood on the platform in the moonlight. It was nearing midnight and cold and wet. Our next ministry event was early in the morning.
The coordinator walked over. "I'm so sorry," she said. "I didn't mean for it to work out this way."
There I stood with a choice to make.
I could share my frustration. I could explain that my sleep tank was on empty. I could say nothing, while sighing with a martyred expression. Or I could choose to override my fatigued irritation and be gracious.
As she waited for my reply, a gentle voice softly spoke to my heart: "This is the way, walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21).
I knew it was definitely the leading of the Holy Spirit, just as Scripture promised. Yes, I was exhausted, but I reminded myself what a privilege it was to be there. Ease and comfort were not readily available to Jesus, and losing a little sleep was nothing in comparison to anything He went through. The Holy Spirit nudged me to recognize that everyone around me was just as tired as I was. He led me in the way to respond.
"I'm fine," I said. "In fact it's been an amazing day and I can't wait to see what God does tomorrow."
She grabbed me and pulled me in a huge hug. "Thank you, Suz."
I wish I could say I handle every choice I have to make that way, but sometimes I fail and gripe, nit-pick, am critical and grouchy. It's my prayer that I'll remember how much my choices matter. You see, they don't just affect me; they affect those within the vicinity of my decisions.
In the 5,000 decisions you make today, take a moment to pause before deciding. Ask the Holy Spirit for His guidance and counsel. And choose to follow as He leads the way.
Dear Lord, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all my choices, and it makes me cranky. Today as I make my 5000 decisions, walk with me, remind me of how my choices affect others and help me follow Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Keep a journal this week of choice points. Note those that lead you in the wrong direction. Are there common themes?
If you were overtired, how can you implement rest?
If you were trying to live a packed life with your spiritual tank unfilled, will you stop and fill it up?
Proverbs 16:9, "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." (ESV)
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (ESV)
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