Many messes + repentance = my story of God's redemption.
“Keep your options open” is age old advice. I’ve heard it plenty of times myself and I’m pretty confident in saying everyone reading this has heard it or thought it themselves. It seems like golden advice to have a backup plan or another available road to drive down — but is it really?
I started this post off with a similar equation that I have used in a prior post because it’s another one of those reflective and vulnerable posts about how my behaviours and choices put a hole in the hull of the ship and caused it to slowly sink. Once again, though, there is hope and beauty in it because the LORD is the ultimate ship builder, or re-builder, and He will set the heading for future sailing.
Indecision is certainly a problem in larger high stakes matters like school choices, relationship choices, career direction, or family matters, but I also believe that the recurring habit of indecision, in even the low stakes insignificant moments of life, will make you grow tired and carry out into other areas of life. We all know how long it can take just to decide where to eat for dinner or what movie to watch!
Rick Warren once wrote “When you can’t make up your mind, you stagger through life.” He went on to quote James 1:8 stating that “when we remain double-minded, we become unstable in everything that we do.” The topic of indecision was on my heart before this, but seeing this brought all the clarity needed to really reflect on my life decisions and the recurring habit of “keeping my options open.”
When making decisions, we are typically most concerned with making the right one. We always want to make the right decision. Whether that be in our own eyes or in the eyes of those around us looking on. We also often struggle greatly with wanting to make the right decision in God’s eyes! The very core of our struggle with indecision, I would argue, is fear. We are afraid to make the wrong decision, we are afraid of disappointing people, and we are afraid of going against God’s will.
Fear is the root of indecision.
Fear is universal. No one is fearless, some are just better than others at facing it and conquering it. Courage, the act of looking fear right in the face, is among the top traits to nurture within oneself. There is no escaping it, though, and the fact is you can either choose to win or can choose to lose. Indecision is, itself, a decision — and one that spells out an automatic loss. It’s ironic that the only way to conquer fear is by aiming and pulling the trigger, also known as making a decision, and that the only way to conquer indecision is by overcoming fear. Catch-22 anybody?
Now, what does fear fear more than anything else? Faith. Fear is one of the most powerful tools of the enemy to sidetrack us and keep us off of the path that God desires for us and has planned specifically for us! Ephesians 6 has proven to be a solid reminder to me lately in this particular area. Ephesians 6:16 specifically is golden: “In ALL circumstances take up the shield of FAITH, with which you can extinguish ALL the flaming darts of the evil one” (emphasis mine).
There is freedom in single-mindedness. When we take our full energy and go in a single-minded direction we make remarkably more progress than if we were to spread ourselves thin in different directions. Sometimes we may make the wrong decision, but a wrong decision is better than being “unstable in everything that we do.”
Everyone know’s, in theory, that an attempt is worth more than just a dream that stays in your thoughts. God knows this too and just longs for us to step out of the boat and onto the water. Just like Peter, we need to call out to Jesus who is already out on the water. We may take a couple steps on the water before sinking, but Jesus is there to grab our hand and save us (Matthew 14:28).
You may end up needing to head back to the boat to regroup and reevaluate, but you made a decision and that is the first step towards realizing the ultimate plan God has for you!