Braving Decisions

I hate decisions. I have the hardest time making them. They scare me. I honestly can see both sides of every issue. I sympathize with both sides, so I cannot easily choose this way or that. Throughout my life, decisions have stopped me in my tracks. I somehow make them, but it is never easy and always grief-filled.

This truth about me has made me feel weird and has kept me from engaging with people. Instead of embracing this truth I wanted to run away from it and wish or pretend it wasn’t my reality. But it is. I’m coming to a point in my life that I’m finally learning to accept who I am: flaws and all.

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I recently took a personality test called the Enneagram- have you heard of it? It is a test that gives you a number that corresponds to your personality. I’ve taken a couple different versions of the test and my results have either been a six or a nine. A six is fear driven and called a loyalist (definitely me, although I really wish it wasn’t) and a nine is the peacemaker (also me, but not as strong as the six). It was in these two personality descriptions that I see this inability to make a decision as not a hindrance, but a gift that not everyone has.

I can see two sides to each issue. It isn’t that I can just see it, but I can relate and grasp where each side is deriving its information. It makes it hard for me to choose one as right and one as wrong. In most situations, I would argue, there isn’t a right or a wrong.

Rather than right or wrong, there is a gray that God can work with. There is strength when you lean on God and make decisions based on Him. I don’t think you can make a wrong choice if God is with you. I’ve made really bad choices in my past based on fear, but regardless of the mess I built for myself, God has blessed that path. Sometimes the decision I make has caused me to stay on an unhealthy road longer than I would have, but the destination is still reached.

My pastor in California had this perfect analogy he used. He placed a golf ball on the top of his driveway and a bucket on the street. The goal was to get the ball into the bucket by hitting it with a broom. Starting with the ball at the top of the driveway, you hit the ball towards the bucket. The path the ball takes is not straight; it goes to the left and right, it goes fast or slow depending on how you hit it. If you do nothing the ball will roll down the hill, but will not likely make it into the bucket. You have to direct the ball and purposely guide it towards the bucket. Eventually it will get in the bucket.

This is like our life. If we do nothing, we will move but it won’t likely be where we want to go. If we keep trying, keep working, (making decisions) we will make it to our destination. In this analogy, God is the broom and we are the ball. God directs our path. If we veer in a wrong direction, he will hit us back towards the bucket. We may pass it, be on the left or right of it, but He will get us there. As Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” He isn’t going to abandon you because you made a bad choice.

I need this reminder in my life. I need to know that my choices are congruent with his path. Perhaps I get off course, but if my intention is to follow him, he will rework my steps. I need to trust that and make the decisions I need to make. For me today, this is encouraging.

As I’m trying to get this podcast off the ground, fears and insecurities are begging me to stop my forward motion. I want to listen and give in. But more strongly, I want to try to keep going. I need to trust God – he put me on this path. If it’s right, he will take it and bless it. If it’s not, he will shake it and use it in another way. He has done this in every situation I’ve ever been in. I can trust that he will do it in this one too.

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