way of seeing, “right” and “wrong” are as important as we make them. We tend toward a narrow and punitive mindset when it comes to making decisions, thinking there is only one right way to do something, only one right choice—and we’d better make the right choice if we don’t want to bring about disaster and years of unhappiness and regret.
This mindset is somewhat understandable regarding a major life decision, as the consequences are far-reaching. But isn’t our view unnecessarily narrow? Do we believe that if we miss that opportunity, we are doomed to the “wrong” choice? Are God’s resources that skimpy—really? Is God’s creativity that ineffective?
It seems that the God of abundant gifts provides many options of grace in a lifetime. And God understands that the core of our abundance is found in our relationship to Him. Marriage or no marriage, this career or that one, this home or that one—every set of options we face, whether this hour or years down the road, should be the raw material for a life of a relationship with God.
When God watches me make a decision, I have this image of Him seated, leaning forward with his hands on his face shaking His head from side to side. But I know His attention is focused on the direction of my heart. Am I moving toward greater faith, hope, and love, or toward greater fear, negativity, and selfishness? Do I grow a little more God-ward in the decision I make this morning? Does the process of discernment turn me to more prayer and attention? Do I choose out of love—even if, technically speaking, I don’t make the best choice?
God sees us, every moment, with compassion, grace, and creativity. If I botch a decision today, His creativity will still bring from that choice growth and forward motion if I seek grace and creativity and if I am open to God’s involvement.
I may feel that my mistakes and missteps make God upset with me or nervous about my future, but, deep down, I know they don’t. Neither is God waiting for me to mess up so that I can be taught a lesson. God does wait and watch—to see if I will invite His participation into my worst day, my most chaotic plan, my most botched decision.
My decisions do bear consequences, but God has never allowed consequences to limit what can be done with a life. Frankly, even if I were able to make excellent decisions for years on end, I would still be living in a world affected by a lot of bad decisions by myself and other people, some of them very close to me.
God can work with our decisions, but God will not force our hearts to open and welcome divine love. For that, God will always watch and wait.
The gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.
Blessings & Happy Holidays,