Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hope for the Indecisive

Remediation of our flood-soaked home has given me the chance to play interior designer. Now I’m noticing baseboards and backsplash and combing the magazine shelves for home decorating tips. And honestly, I’ve been overwhelmed by the massive amount of decisions. I had NO IDEA how many would be required to renovate a home. How many shades of white are there? You might be surprised! How many kinds of trim and baseboard? Interior doors? Flooring? Light Fixtures? Hardware? Railing? Cabinets? Countertops? Sinks? Etc.. And how do you match the style and colours? 

Needless to say, my mind has been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices.  More than once I have agonized and second-guessed myself.

Basically, this has been a crash course in decision making for me. And I’ve discovered that I am a horrible decision maker. I had no idea just how bad I was until this year. 

Rewind five months. I am standing in my stripped-bare frame of a house -- emotionally fatigued and confused about what I want. The plumber, electrician, carpenter and general contractor are all looking to me -- waiting for me to make a decision about where to put the washer. I desperately need a cathartic five minute cry, but then I would be paying these men to wait around for me to finish my meltdown! So I make a decision, leave and then immediately begin to second guess myself.


Over the next 5 months I repeated this pattern many times. At some point I began to realize that there was a reason I was so anxious.

We make decisions more difficult than they need to be when we forget to keep our priorities straight. Jesus’ words in Luke 12: 22-32 are such a beautiful reminder for me that,

  1. God cares about what we need here on earth.
  2. God will provide for us.
  3. We have less control than we think, and
  4. If I’m getting overly anxious, it’s probably because I’m making something here on earth my treasure.

    And he [Jesus] said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 

    Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

In light of these truths, the location of my washer doesn’t seem so important. While I can’t add an hour to my life by worrying, I probably did lose an hour. But as I begin to understand that God will provide what I need, I loosen my iron grip on the details. I don’t need to make perfect decisions. In most things, it’s sufficient to make good decisions.

What Do You Treasure?

Someone once said that our emotions are a window to our soul. Our anxiety shows us what our hearts love. We need only look. Do our decisions have to be perfect? Do we care too much what other people think? Is the decision too important to us? Are we defined by it?

It’s true that we treasure comfort, beauty, success and riches. But we can’t take them with us when we die. Redemption and an eternity spent with the One we love most is a better treasure. It cannot be lost, destroyed or stolen. God cannot fail and his promises don’t wear out.

The gospel doesn’t make all decisions easy, but it should take some of the pressure off of us. There is only one decision that we need to get exactly right. And that is deciding who and what we love most.

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