The willingness or ability to make hard decisions can be a defining moment for many. There will be times in our lives when we face mountains in our path and have to choose which way is best to navigate around it. However, the dilemma is often decided long before it is ever recognized, we just have to have an open ear to the Spirit to discern it.
King Solomon was reportedly the wisest of all men. When given an opportunity to obtain anything from God, he chose wisdom. Wisdom has a wide range of definitions. I prefer to think of wisdom as an accumulation of life lessons that will assist in future decision making. In one of my favorite decision-making stories written about King Solomon, he was tasked with passing judgment in a case between two women making claim for the same child. Once the women were allowed to give testimony, King Solomon declared to cut the child in two pieces and split among the women. With this ability to make such a decision, the real mothers was determined and the child was spared. Had he not been able to make a decision in the matter, who knows what could have happened? Senseless killing or kidnapping most likely. Or a bitter 2,000-year-old rivalry. Well that story has already been told.
In the moments we face the hardest decisions, God instructs us to stop and give Him a moment of our time in prayer. This is when we have to have that open ear to discern His wisdom that He imparts on us. You can hardly go wrong when you give God a part in the decision making. There is no lack of lessons in decision making in the Bible. Some of the greatest stories of the biggest historical figures hinged on their decision making.
Easily one of history’s leading legendary figures; a man who paved his own way; a man who would become one of our nation’s greatest presidents —Theodore Roosevelt had a saying, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” That is a profound statement. You have to make a choice. Even refusing to make a choice is making a choice. It’s just making the decision to allow fear or apathy rule the moment and steal what could be another life changing moment for you or all the world. Imagine if a small group of people hadn’t made what was to be the hardest decision of their lives to make a journey across an ocean to an unknown world, only to make a new life, a new nation, a country we now call America. If they had stayed home and endured the tyrannical government and refused to make a choice to seek new and better lives, none of us would be here at this moment.
Edison is another prime example. You would be in the dark if he had not made the choice to be brave enough to make something out of nothing more than a thought; a God-given thought, but one under free will that he very well could have closed his mind to and we would probably still be walking around with candles and oil-filled lanterns.
Point is, decisions can be difficult, but they will be even more daunting if you refuse to at least give it a go. If you have something you are contemplating and it is weighing heavily on you, don’t just cast if off and try and forget about it; it will eventually gnaw at your soul. Rather, sit down in a quiet place and raise your concerns to God — then wait. Wait for His direction and watch the outcome. But remember one thing: What may appear as a failure now can very well become a blessing in your accumulation of life lessons and cause you to become wiser in a future decision-making moment that can change the world.
James Fansler is Lake Placid police chief. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.