Life is full of decisions. Sometimes we overthink things, other times, we rush ahead with no thought whatsoever about the decisions we make. And, we regret it later. Yet, every choice moves us somewhere. More often than not, our choices are fueled by our core beliefs and our sometimes-skewed perspectives.
When we feel we have something to prove or that we need some kind of validation, we’ll misuse our time, treasure and talents to prove something Jesus has already proven and paid for.
When we fear that God is not good and that He won’t come through for us, we’ll make fear-driven choices that lead us away from His best plan for us. We’ll play not-to-lose, instead of running the race to win.
So how do we lean in, listen for the Lord, and make decisions that move us toward God’s best for us and for those around us?
Recently on Middays I spoke with bestselling author, Emily P. Freeman about her amazing book, The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions.
She shared how our souls and our schedules aren’t always in agreement. And if what our schedule demands from us isn’t good for our soul within us, well then, we have some decisions to make.
A cluttered soul is a distressed soul. That’s why Jesus wants to restore our soul.
Think about the inputs, information, and expectations we have to sort through every single day. The news (mostly bad news), countless social media notifications, bills, junk mail, emails, text messages, task lists, grocery lists, crammed schedules, work stress, home upkeep, and sports schedules. Is it any wonder our souls are in distress and we can’t even hear ourselves think?
About this stress, Emily writes:
“We’re letting everyone else’s agenda live for free in the sacred space of our creative mind, and it’s time for eviction. This space is necessary for ideas to form, for questions to rise up, for hope to weave her way into our vision for the future and for the dots of decision to begin to connect in the quiet places of our mind and heart.”
Emily talked about becoming a soul minimalist. Don’t you love that term? Maybe it’s time to simplify things in your soul. Be ruthless with what you allow to reside and what you decide to evict.
What if you got creative with your moments and your days and you allowed God some time and sacred space not only to speak to your heart but to give you rest? She suggests checking your phone less often; sitting quietly before the Lord and letting Him speak to you; turning off the TV and embracing the quiet for the evening.
You know what would happen? Clarity would start to come. Peace would return. And with it, an inner sense of what God says is best for you in this particular season of life.
One of the important aspects of our decision making, Emily writes, is a right view of God. This was perhaps my favorite excerpt from her book. She writes:
“I cannot say how God will speak to you. But I can say with a fair amount of confidence of how He won’t.
He will not shame you into better behavior.
He will not trick you.
He will not tease you.
He will not laugh at you.
He will not terrorize you.
He does not pull rugs out from under you.
He does not drop the other shoe.
He does not pull fast ones.
He will not roll His eyes, throw up His hands, or turn His back on you.” *Excerpts taken from Emily P. Freeman’s book, The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions.
You’ll make your best decisions when you believe with all of your heart that God is good and that He is for you.
No matter if you’re facing a major decision or not, it’s important to pay attention to what’s gathering in your soul. Maybe today is a good day to turn off the TV and go for a long walk. Stop and feel the warmth of the sun on your face and thank God for the gift of His presence. Take some time to really ponder the decisions before you and the dreams within you; then listen for that still, small voice within you.
If God’s not giving you any earth-shaking revelations at the moment, then just do the next right thing. Make the call. Send the card. Say the prayer. Take the first step. And trust that that’s enough for today.Do the next right thing