I have some friends who readily admit that they don’t like making the little decisions – the “micro” ones, as Pastor Sean called them in his message this past Sunday. I know these friends well, and so I find their indecision about things like who will drive to church and where they will eat out a very endearing quality. I also know that a few years ago they had a really tough decision about whether to stay in San Diego or go “home” to Ohio. Thankfully, they stayed in California and saved me from having to add another family to my list of destination travel!
“We make decisions all the time; but some are the type of decision that alters our life,” Pastor Sean reminded us on Sunday. I have to raise my hand on that one! My husband and I had that kind of decision to make some years ago, the same as our friends. But in our case, the story started with some circumstances that were out of our control. And unsettling.
As many of you know, I came to San Diego kicking and complaining when the company my husband worked for did a spin-off of his research project and formed a new company. A few years into our time in San Diego I was needed by my mother in West Virginia. Her health had taken a turn for the worse that fairly quickly led to her death. The day after that blow my husband called to say he had been laid off from his job. Talk about difficult circumstances!!
But the Lord is faithful! And one day, after months of no job offers for my husband, I heard the voice of the Lord during a prayer gathering with about three hundred others. We would be staying in San Diego rather than leaving as I was planning. Was it an audible voice? No. But I knew I had heard from God. Did my husband receive a job offer right after that? No. For me, it became a matter of my willingness to wait, my commitment to trust, and my desire to obey the voice of the Lord. Don’t think for a minute that any of those things came easily, okay?
Most often, we don’t specifically hear the voice of the Lord when a big decision is looming. But as Pastor Sean said when he unpacked Proverbs 16 for us on Sunday (and I had the joy of hearing the message twice!), the Bible gives us very helpful guidelines for making decisions. These include: eliminate distractions, let God be God, examine your motives, take inventory, and pray with relentless fervor.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to take that last one about fervent prayer to heart – every day! I’ve found it to be a “micro” decision with “macro” power! Whether you’re in the midst of a big decision, or just dealing with the every-day stuff of life, prayer works! I’m still here in San Diego, aren’t I?