Friday, September 08, 2006

Making Decisions

AN ENCOURAGING WORD for July 13, 2006 - written by Dr. Thomas Lane Butts, Pastor Emeritus, Monroeville First United Methodist Church

Making Decisions

Between jumping out of bed in the morning and falling back into bed at night, most people make hundreds of decisions.

The intensity of our struggle over decisions varies from unconscious decision making to literally agonizing over what to do. I do not know anyone wise enough to save us from some pressure, even some agonizing, in the fast-moving culture in which we live; but there are some intentional steps we can take to order our lives in such a way as to save ourselves from agonizing over every decision.

The development of certain habits delivers us from having to decide about many things. While it is true that some people are destroyed by their habits, there are others who are saved by healthy habits.

In the home where I grew up, we did not decide whether we would go to church each Sunday. Apart from serious illness, accident, or death, we all knew where we would be on Sunday morning. It was a family habit. To save wear and tear on the human system, we should remand as much of life as possible to habits that save us from having to re-think matters to which there are obvious answers.

Since we are not equally knowledgeable in all things, the wise person will consult specialists for advice before making certain decisions. Some of our decisions would be very uninformed, if not outright harmful, if we did not consult with physicians, electricians, engineers, lawyers, accountants, clergy, and many other persons who are experts in their fields.

Habits and experts can help us through most decisions, but there are times when we must decide about matters in which habits and experts are of no help.

It is then that we should decide in the light of reason, prayer, and love. Since each of these require serious effort on our part, it is easy to by-pass one or all three and leave it to circumstance. Sometimes we forget that deciding not to decide is also a decision.

In his "History of England," Lord Thomas Macaulay writes of the failure of the prime minister to speak his opinion on a matter of great importance during a critical time in English history.
"His situation made it his clear duty to declare what he thought. It was probably from a nervous fear of doing wrong that at this great conjuncture he did nothing; but he should have known that, situated as he was, to do nothing was to do wrong."

What a terrible indictment!
We can lighten the load by habit and expert advice, but when it comes down to some of the more intangible decisions, we must turn to inner resources which we may or may not have properly developed. How are you fixed for making decisions when habits and experts are of no help?


Θεριό Ανήμερο said...

Άχου και βαριέμαι να σκέφτομαι agglika πρωινιάτικα!!!

Marialena said...

Yes indeed my dear Θεριούλη, αλλά τι να σε κάνω μωρέ που το κείμενο αυτό είναι στα αγγλικά, να κάτσω να το μεταφράσω πρωινιάτικα? Λέει, δεν λέει! Αλλά το νόημά του πέραν της πλάκας, είναι πολύ καλό...

Καλημέρα! Μ.

zero said...

Making the right decision...
..that's all that matters.


Marialena said...

If it feels right deep down inside, it is certainly worth taking it!

Θα τα πούμε σήμερα? Μ.

Anonymous said...

The only right decision I made today is to join you all (?) tonight in our fest!

Marialena looking forward to meet you. Till then...take care (τι τα έχουμε τα διπλώματα!?!)

Marialena said...

Likewise my dear Shakes! So, it won't be long till we finally meet tonight.

Hope that everybody will make the right decision to be there on time!

(φυσικά τι τα έχουμε τα διπλώματα!)
φιλιά, Μ.

zero said...

IF you are asking me ...about the meeting tonight...
...the answer is no...
i can't attend the meeting.

PS: i like very much the song i'm hearing... Queen is it?
Of course ...Queen.

Fantastic song!


Marialena said...

Thanx for the reply dear zero! I hope we'll meet at another suitable time in the future. Fate knows better than we do in such a case! Yes it is the Bohemian Rapsody by Queen. It is an exceptional song to begin with!

Take care and enjoy your weekend,M.