Brenda’s Blog – January 11, 2021
Jack Turpin’s open to his Sunday School lesson got our attention. He continued: “Don’t ever make a life altering decision if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.” That was twenty-five years ago and it is still vividly imprinted on my mind.
Little did I know how often I would repeat that command to myself. Even more valuable were the numerous opportunities I had in my management career to pass along the admonition to others. During a particularly difficult time I shared my frustration with a fellow HALTer. As I expressed the desire to walk away he stopped me with an upraised hand in my face followed by “Brenda, HALT!!” That was just what I needed to clear my mind and reset the decision process.
Rarely am I ever truly hungry – we are a culture blessed with abundance. But diverting my work energy and making my way to a Snickers candy bar can reduce my wise decision skills!
Angry is a tough one. Depression is often described as anger turned inward. Decisions made with black clouds hanging overhead are often destructive. The Bible tells us to never let the sun go down on our anger. How wise!
Jack Turpin, the wise mentor, and my Dad were dear friends. At one point when Dad was seriously declining, Jack came to sit by Dad’s bed. Two years earlier he suffered the painful loss of his precious wife. As I walked him to the hospital elevator we talked about HALT. “L is the worst, isn’t it?” I nodded in total agreement. It is a challenge to avoid flawed decisions when we are covered by loneliness.
And tired – oh, how I know the cost of making a last minute, little thought decision because I was weary. A good friend once counseled me to delay any critical projects until mornings. “You will always do better putting the work away and starting in the morning. Staying up all night will just deter the successful completion. You aren’t helping yourself by pushing beyond tired.”
Try it – focus yourself on the discipline to check your attitude and condition before making a life altering decision. It will pay off.