Brenda’s Blog – May 4, 2021
“The things you don’t do are as important as the things you do.” – Katharine Graham
Recently I sat with friends whose interests gravitate toward “what ifs.” Reflection grows in its power to take up mental space. Where once anticipation and expectation led, looking back now rules. Musing on choices is good fodder for conversation.
Options require decisions. We say yes to one and thereby saying no to another. How we ascertain the direction is an exercise in personality, temperament, maturity, and faith. Some forks have a “no question about it” nature because the alternative is unsuitable. Others create emotional upheaval because either is appropriate.
I grew up in a faith community who strongly believed in the perfect will of God, everything else’s being permitted, but not first class. As an earnest little girl I searched diligently for that almost imperceptible, microscopic region designated the perfect will. Decision making became agonizing. The sadness of the childhood construct was the secondary belief that doing the will of God automatically meant doing something you didn’t want to do. Enjoyment was mutually exclusive with “doing the will of God.”
Then years later at a crucial crossroads I was given a book “Decision Making and the Will of God.” BOOM! The author introduced freedom. God was not a gamesman, creating mazes and delighting in frustrating me. He actually designed me with gifts, talents, and skills which helped me interpret the journey. If I had the desire to make a choice and it met the criteria of being Biblically aligned, and encouraged by Godly counsel, I could go in joy.
Have all my decisions been healthy and mature? Certainly not. Have all my decisions been growth opportunities? Yes. And, as Katharine Graham wisely observed, the doors I closed (or better yet- didn’t open) are often as large a part of my story as the ones I boldly and eagerly opened. As I age I have more data for my decision tree experience, and hopefully I say “no” to more and “yes” to fewer and the better.