Monday, November 24, 2008

Call-Centered Decisions

It’s almost Thanksgiving. The semester is rapidly winding down. For some of us, that has been a time of hard work and wise decisions, with a well deserved rest at the end. For others of us, poor decision-making skills regarding our personal lives or our academic situation have placed us in a hole which we are having a terrible time climbing out of. Thus, serendipitously, as we have been talking Monday after Monday about “Godly Values which drive Good Decisions”…today is about Decisions:
Decisions: I will not live a life of regret; I will risk a more comfortable life for the hope of living a more full life. The easy road is a poor teacher. I will not fear failure; I will apply creative responses to those failures.

What is the driving force behind your decisions? This is a strategic question. Here are just a few options in the mix.
  1. You may be re-active rather than pro-active. Simply put, you do not make decisions until the last possible minute. A parallel preference is that you bury your head in the sand, hoping that circumstances will somehow align themselves to bail you out. Why might that be? Ponder for a few minutes. This type of decision making might be called a “plodder.”
  2. Maybe the majority of times when someone asks you to consider doing a task; you simply say, “Yes.” Then you spend an excessive amount of time trying to figure out how to fit this task in with all your other tasks you are trying to fit into an already too busy schedule. Again, if that is your style, reflect on whether this brings stability to your life or added chaos. This decision-making style could be labeled a “pleaser.”

Friends, these two examples are polar opposites…and I’m sure you dwell in a “decision-making pattern” somewhere in the middle. I’m sure you are not an ostrich with your head buried in the sand, just waiting upon someone else to make a decision or for the Rapture to take you out of an un-manageable life-scenario. Nor are you a pure “yes-people-pleaser” who is searching for human centered approval.
But how would you articulate your method? Mine is fairly simple; I try not to be “need-based” but instead to be “call-centered.” Let me try to define it this way; I try to listen to the voice of the Spirit rather than only listen to the person in front of me. There are countless opportunities which loom on the horizon, which ones are for me and which ones should I leave undone for another to pick up behind me? Angie and I have begun to ask a series of questions…all based upon NOT DOING something:

  1. If we say no; is it merely to make our lives are more comfortable?
  2. If we say no; will we regret it later?
  3. If we say no; is it out of fear?
  4. If we say no; have I silenced the voice of God in my ear?

Help us to see Your Kingdom as it stands before us.
Help us to see people and their needs;
Help us to hear Your voice with clarity;
Help us to recognize where their needs and Your call coalesce
Help us to release freely what is not for us but to lay it down for someone else.
Help us to fashion creative strategies for fulfilling Your Kingdom in our midst.

Now, “Go with God.”

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