We are told that Americans make seventy conscious decisions a day. That’s seventy distinct moments of wading through options and committing to a certain choice. I believe that we are unaware of most of these decisions, for they deal, for the most part, with routine choices which we make every day. What shall I wear, what shall I eat, where shall I go, etc.?
Most people don’t know the profound effects of making life decisions. We often go through life unaware of the action we are taking. Yet, every single decision we make contributes to the kind of life we will live and the person we become.
Since the on slot of this pandemic, and being confined to my home, I have had a lot of time to think about my future, something that, up to now, I have not thought much about in detail. It didn’t seem necessary until everything came to a screeching halt, and the possibility of death loomed large.
Now, at the age of eighty-four, I am asking myself, “How many more years do I have? What does the future look like for me? Should I sell my house, and move to a senior facility where I will not be alone? Can I afford to do that?”
These are heavily weighted questions requiring life changing decisions. Of course, God alone knows how long I will live, and what the future holds, but one day, I will, of necessity, have to make these difficult choices.
Four years ago, when my younger sister was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the decision making responsibility fell to me. It was necessary to go to court, one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, in order to assume responsibility for her. I decided where she would live. I decided whether or not to sell her house and her car. I sold, gave away, or threw away her whole life.
It took every bit of energy and emotion I could muster to make such decisions. At a certain point I reached what is called “decision fatigue.” Fatigue hit when I began to lose the ability to think through my decisions.
When the junk man arrived to cart away everything else that remained, I just closed my eyes and let him do it. My brother kept asking, “Are you sure you want to throw that away?” I was no longer sure of anything. Some very good things, which I now regret, wound up in the city dump, because I couldn’t make another decision.
My brother, who is now ninety years old, is suddenly facing some of these life changing decisions. He is in great health, still very active, but he is tired of being along. Last year he sold his house, where he and his wife lived for forty-five years, and moved, with his little dog, into a two bedroom apartment, but he hasn’t enjoyed it as much as He thought he would.
Now, his daughter and her husband, who live in Tulsa, have invited him to come live with them. They have plenty of room and they want him.
All of sudden he is faced with this enormous decision that will totally change the years left to him. I don’t think he should give up his independence. I think it is too soon for him, but I am not making the decision.
He must make the decision to please himself, not someone else. He must ask some hard questions.
“Do I want to do this, or do I need to do it?
“Am I doing this because my daughter wants it, or because I want it?”
“Will I regret having done it?”
“What’s the worst possible outcome, and what is the best?”
I know my brother. He will never make this big decision without praying diligently for God’s will. Then he will have to listen to his heart. We are emotional beings, and we rely on our intuition more than we think.
My brother’s best decision must be based on two things: What God speaks into his heart and what he himself honestly needs. It won’t be easy!
Last week I made a decision of my own. Arizona is opening up to a degree, and like everyone, I am tired of being cooped up. Still I am hesitant to go out around others. Yet, that is exactly what I need to do. Oh, I am not rebelling, nor will I take unnecessary risks, or behave foolishly, but I need to put away my fears. Doing everything I can to be safe, I need to trust God to take care of me. So, I’m going to start doing some normal stuff—going to the bank, the Post Office, the grocery store and the car wash.
Like Queen Esther I have said, “If I perish, I perish.” I can say that confidently, because Psalm 139 tells me that every day of my life is written in God’s book. I have reminded myself that I am not going to die one day sooner or one day later than God planned.
Perhaps you are, at this moment, wrestling with one of those “Life Changing Decisions.” You do not know what to do, but God does, and He has made some wonderful promises that directly address your dilemma.
In Psalm 32:8 God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with my eye.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.”
Again, in James 1:5 we are counseled, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God…and it will be given him.”
DO IT. IT WORKS!
Remember, the sun will come out tomorrow!