When faced with a choice for your future, ever wonder what God wants you to do?
In our lives, we all have to make many decisions—and it isn’t always easy to decide what’s best. There are big decisions (changing jobs or moving?) and little decisions (what to have for dinner?). The more significant decisions often need time to simmer. We need time to research the possibilities, talk it over with others, consider the implications of various choices, and–last but not least– pray about it.
In the spiritual life, this process is called “discernment.” Rather than just jumping into an important decision, we take the time to ask God what he views as the best choice. Discernment involves various kinds of “listening” for God’s will in our lives. This listening is waiting and watching for what seems best according to the ways of God.
Sometimes when I am having trouble making a decision about something, I think of this bible verse:
Although this passage doesn’t tell me precisely what to do (whether to change jobs or move or whatever), it reminds me what matters in God’s eyes. When I think of my decision in light of this verse, I take into consideration how my decision will effect others in my life. Will my choice be morally right and filled with love (“act justly” and “love tenderly”). That’s not to say I ignore my own needs, but to include the needs of others around me. (When we use our talents well, both our own needs and other’s needs will hopefully come into harmony.)
“Walk humbly with your God” reminds me of Pastor Sarah’s sermon last week about the beatitude “meekness.” God is in charge, not me. Yet, God’s being “in charge” is not like ruthless leader, but rather one who walks with us. Making the best decision we can, we do it in the presence and love of God. “Walk humbly with your God” implies that God is right there, all around us, and walking beside us in the journey we call life.
If this all sounds familiar, perhaps that is because Jesus taught the two most important “laws” are to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. When making a decision, we can take into account how our choice is in line with what God wants and loves (found most profoundly in the teachings of Jesus), what is good for “our neighbor” (family, community, world, etc.) and what is good for one’s own self (it says to love your neighbor as yourself … so it is appropriate to think of your own needs, too).
When we feel the time is right, we make the decision and trust that God will work through whatever the situation may be. God loves us immensely and treasures our desire to choose wisely.
Will you pray with me?
We trust that you love us
and always want what’s best for us.
Help us remember, when making decisions,
to choose actions that are kind and good for all people,
filled with love for one another.
Remind us often that wherever we go,
whatever we do this day,
you are at our side, walking with us,
dwelling in our hearts and in our midst,
no matter how rough and rocky the road might be.
This we ask in the name of Jesus,
and in the communion of the Holy Spirit.