Relax, YOU don't have to decide!
I think you could make a case that one of life's greatest struggles is trying to make decisions. This a pretty lame argument, considering that everything in life involves a decision. But hear me out. Think about the big decisions; college, marriage, kids, family, career, divorce, housing, moving, traveling, retiring, and on and on. The stress and anxiety most people experience - way too much. So we have a thousand and one stress-relieving techniques to try and help us cope. We have a thousand more medications (kosher and not kosher) to try to avoid the stress and the coping. I'm by no means an expert on stress relief or medicating; though I've dabbled in both. But here's the deal, let's consider the root issue, decision making itself. Here's the angle I want us to look at... we live in a western worldview (generally speaking) that suggests we are supposed to be experts in directing our own lives. However...
1) For the most part, we know a fraction of the information we actually need to make the ideal choice. 2) Next, with many decisions, there are a thousand million uncontrollable variables (people and circumstance) that are impacting our decision the moment we are choosing. And those variables don't stop impacting us long after the decision was made. 3) Also, we don't know the future. "Okay Captain Obvious", you say. I know, it's a granted. However it's likely the most significant element in decision making. With many choices we are gambling with what we anticipated will occur down the road. 4) How about this one... we think we have our best interest in mind (or the interest of others). What if our "best interest" is not nearly as "best" as it could be?
I could go on, but I'm bored and want to discuss the solution. Ready? It's too simple but not really-real to many of us; it wasn't for me. But here it is... We have a decision-making genius available to us - every moment of our life. 1) He knows the future, all of it; past, present, and future are one to him. 2) He is the only one with actual best interest in mind; "best" being "perfect" in this case. 3) He has all the information; he's lacking nothing, every detail is obvious to him. An infinite database. 4) He's an expert at working with supposedly "uncontrollable variables"; it's his specialty. The creator God of the universe - ready and waiting to guide us through life's small and large choices.
------------------------------ I realize this can sound cliche, but I don't care. I've experienced the tension between ME operating as the primary decision maker - versus - discovering a friendly God who is thrilled to direct my path. This realization didn't come easy, and for others I know who live this way, it didn't come easy to them. While many people of faith would likely suggest that they believe God wants to help guide their life; ask them for examples of when and how it happens; you mostly get generic responses, and not many of them. I can introduce you to believers who experience the Lord's intervention and direct support on a regular basis; be it daily, weekly, monthly. Again, both in little and big things. Unfortunately, an all to common response to such testimonies is something to the effect of,... "well you can't expect that to be the case for every believer." It's a classic cop-out of... "some people have a unique experience with God, but most of us don't." Hear me on this, I'm not stating that every decision for every believer is going to have lighting bolts with flashing signs. But back to where we started this discussion... people are struggling and stressing to figure out life. All the while, we have the God of Angel Armies whose joyfully chosen to make a covenant with us, to bring Heaven to Earth, to pour His love out on us, and to allow us to participate in establishing His Kingdom. Of course He wants to help us make decisions. Anything less than that revelation is UNBELIEF: call it sin, repent, and ask the Lord to reveal this part of His nature. Now, sometimes His love looks like God letting us go through experiences in a way where we seem to be totally alone, as if He's nowhere close. But even in these moments, He's using them to guide our lives. Primarily, nudging our hearts to find Him in the midst of "apparent isolation". Though we are never really alone - it's just a matter of how is He choosing to interact with us. Heavenly Father delights in sovereignly interacting with us. He wants His children to walk with Him. Learning to veer left, right, straight, up, down, or turn around, in perfect step with Him. He never forces us. He lets us pick.
But we were never designed to choose on our own - in isolation - according to our own dictates. That's what got Adam and Eve in this situation. Abba Father walked with them "in the cool of the day". A side by side partnership dance as they increased and expanded His garden Kingdom. Father lives in the future. Has best interest for us. Has an infinite knowledge base. Has the ability to navigate all variables.
So how about stress? It doesn't mean everything goes the way we want. It goes more the way He wants. It doesn't mean it's all hunky dory. Remember, He's helping navigate the variables, not control or remove them all: He's still allowing others to choose on their own. I can say, with all sincerity, Danielle and I are living a life story we NEVER would have "chosen" ourselves, and it's incredible. It's full of peace that surpasses understanding. It’s a journey we never would have dreamed up. Perfect love casts out fear. Peace is the antidote to stress. He still wants to dance. He still wants to lead. Let Him!