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Sailing the sea of indecision

Navigating waters of change with wisdom
Navigating waters of change with wisdom
Photo by Corinna Halloran - Team SCA/Getty Images

The infamous fork in the road appears. The question looms and the pondering begins. It doesn’t matter if we’re flying the sky solo or riding our bike in tandem, the path will narrow at some point in time and life altering decisions must be made. We can stare at this crossroad, think hard and pray faithfully, but even when a definitive answer comes, trusting we heard from God is often a feat all its own.

To complicate things further, we can even concern ourselves with “missing God,” as if that could ever really happen. God is not lost. Never has been, never will be. We are the ones who need to be found, pre-salvation decision and post-Christian era. For centuries people have taken retreats to “find themselves” and return home often feeling more lost than ever. While it's good to self assess in order to learn, grow, repent, heal and communicate better with others, “finding self” will never fully satisfy. Finding Jesus and realizing the full depth, breadth and height of His love seals the deal of our destiny and kisses our soul with true and lasting satisfaction. It is only in these rivers of living water where the waves of His glorious grace wash over us that we can safely surf the ocean of decision with full assurance as we venture into the unknown.

Still, how do we logistically navigate such waters successfully so we don't get stuck in the sea of indecision? While I'm the first to admit I need constant growth in this area, let's explore some basics that can help.

The Bible states that the counsel of the Godly is a big help. Hearing from mature people in the Lord who truly know how to divorce themselves from their desire for you and keep your best interest at heart are a blessing. Wisdom would likely also whisper to carefully discern whom has earned the right to speak into our life when it comes to life changing decisions. We can find safety and support in significant circles, but in the end it really does come down to what the ultimate counsel of the Holy Spirit leads us to do. We are the only ones who will answer to the Lord for delayed obedience or disobedience. We must seek the Lord while He can be found and we can be sure His word will not contradict His will.

Making big decisions without the word of God and His voice at the helm of our ship will lead to us into choppy waters, at best. It is of the utmost importance our time in the word is consistent and gets ramped up all the more when changes are before us. God has such a beautiful way of taking us to the exact passages that will impress upon our hearts the very heart of our King. In these tender times, if we lean in and listen closely, we'll sense His intention for at least our next chapter, if not our entire next season. Timing, too, is everything.

We can often wait too long for not one, but ten confirmations. Or, we move so quickly the moment we think He's saying “go,” that we complicate an otherwise smooth transition. Even if several yachts have left the dock, we will not miss the boat (or God), if we lean into Him in quietness and trust as we wait on His timing. If boarding a paddle boat prematurely, we may end up exerting all our energy, out of breath and on a murky little pond. By way of contrast, cruise ships depart at a specific time and sail big beautiful seas, making many stops at exotic ports of call and allow for multiple, exciting excursions. This is the kind of journey we can hope for if we move in God's timing. We mustn’t sabotage ourselves by docking in the valley of indecision too long or we could end up stuck on the same old shoreline going nowhere. While giving excessive consideration to the commotion in our soul many water crafts, and opportunities, will likely set sail without us. Chances are, when it's time to move the "all aboard" call will beckon loud and clear.

Adventure awaits as we choose to enter into, not only a more intimate relationship with the Lord, but a less encumbered approach to life. "Get over yourself" could be said here too. By giving way to the still small voice that desires to help us lose sight of the shore so we can discover new oceans, we free ourselves from self. Trying to figure it all out before we make a move is crippling, frustrating and screams of self reliance. When we're God-reliant, a grand adventure can begin and it truly never ends. This is the stuff of faith. Deep calling unto deep. Here is where Abraham type faith can take root in our spirit and soul. On these waters, where we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will not sink, if we fear not and stay out of our head. Faith is birthed in the depth of our spirit. Fear, often referred to as false evidence appearing real, can develop from seeds of reasoning. While we must exercise wisdom and carefully assess a matter prior to taking any plunge in order to float freely in the pool of God's perfect will and His precise purpose for our life, we mustn’t over think, doubt or delay when His directive comes.

I must make mention of my Spiritual Mama's instruction years ago about being certain to H.A.L.T if we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. This should be an absolute. No good decision is ever made when our flesh is battling such physical circumstances. Keep it real. Not everything is spiritual. Eat, forgive, go have fun with a friend and get some rest! This alone works wonders for clearing the clutter in our mind, will and emotions.

Seeking God’s will for our lives can be a seemingly endless pursuit for the dedicated Christian. If we truly desire His perfect will for our lives, it’s a quest we all set out on, and remain on this side of heaven until He takes us home. It's a worthy quest. A worthwhile pursuit. But while in the waiting room of indecision, remember one thing is easily discernible. God's word and will is clear in that we are to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing and in all circumstances, give thanks.” This we know. This we can be sure of as we ponder other pursuits. So if in the valley of indecision, get on with being grateful. We don't have to be happy about every circumstance, but we do have the power to remain thankful in every circumstance. Pray always and rejoice in the beauty of each new day, the beauty of other's victories, our own small victories and in the beauty of the fact that we have an amazing Savior who loved us enough to die for us. I'm not sure new things can enter in until we're thankful for what we already have. If you're reading this article, you have eyes with which to see. If you pulled it up online, you have internet access and thus, a plethora of information at your finger tips. We get spoiled and slip up in our everyday decisions when we fail to decide to rejoice in the day the Lord has made, simply because He made it. Yet, that's scripture. Beautiful scripture that can help set the tone for a day and open the door to more.

Be sure of this, the Captain of our ship, our Lord Jesus Christ, can confidently entrust His first-mates with much more when we choose to navigate the seas of decision with the good book on the itinerary. The word of God should always be our first and last port of call for every decision we make and with the rising and setting of each day's sun. Smooth sailing friends!

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