In her book, The Next Right Thing, Emily Freeman describes the difficulty in making decisions, including the decision that would eventually lead to her enrollment in Graduate school. After a prolonged period of discussing the options over and over, eventually Freeman made the choice to enroll. And then an interesting conversation happened between Freeman and her spiritual director:
“Our Western minds are trained to go down the path of explaining.
We think if we can understand it, then we can control it.” It’s true, don’t you think? We are conditioned to believe the only reason we should do things is if we know why, where we are headed, and for what purpose. No wonder we have trouble making decisions. If we don’t have clear answers or sure things, then taking a big step feels like a risk at best and a wasteful mistake at worst. If I understand it, then I can control it…
During that period of time when I was trying to make the decision, my focus was on the decision itself, but I also noticed something shifting within me. I felt needy, open, aware, and ready to listen. At every turn, I was eager to hear from God. We know decisions are important because each one carries a consequence. Decisions shape our lives. But what we often overlook is not only how our choices shape outcomes but how they shape us too. They reveal our character and help to create our character.
What if the way we make decisions is equally as important as the decisions we make? What if choice is one of the primary avenues of our spiritual formation? Unmade decisions have the power to either close us up in fear or open us up to love. This is both the burden and the gift of our indecision. We get to choose which one we carry.
Emily P. Freeman, The Next Right Thing, 2019, pp. 16-17, Baker Publishing Group.
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