On average, we are faced with 35,000 choices a day. When we do one action, we are choosing not to do another. We actively choose not to partake in certain activities or talk to certain people. We even choose to not choose to do anything.
Have you ever made a choice that suddenly had your stomach in knots? Maybe you made the decision and as time moved forward, you questioned if you had made the right choice? Or maybe just thinking about the decision you want to make has you feeling anxious. It’s an uncomfortable feeling. These past two years, I have encountered a few moments of choices that could have a multitude of after effects. And each time the anxiety was overwhelming—I would over think not only the choice itself but also the possible consequences, and then I would overthink the “what ifs.” It was mentally and emotionally exhausting. So, how do we know when we are making the right choice?
The short answer—the easy answer—is, we don’t really. Unless the choice is clearly, obviously “right” and “wrong,” it’s impossible to know to know if the choice we make is the “right choice” and to know the outcome of that choice.
Like Dumbledore says, “the consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.”
The more complicated answer is that we have to listen to what God is telling us in those moments. We do that by recognizing His hand and His voice. Do we feel way more anxiety about a certain decision than necessary? That’s probably God telling us we shouldn’t go that route. Do we feel calmer, more at peace with a decision? That’s probably God letting us know we are on the right path.
I don’t want to trivialize God, though. He is more concerned about our hearts and our alignment with Him. He cares about our daily decisions, but making a “wrong” decision doesn’t mean you’re not longer His child. It just becomes another chance to learn from Him.
I’ve had to face a lot of choices, and I feel like the past few days have been full of choices to be made, and not in a good way. So, I remind myself to take a breath and pray. I might ask God to take something away if it isn’t meant for me or to make something more obvious if it is. And He always answers. I just have to be paying attention.
I don’t know what choices you’re facing today, but know that God cares about them and about you. If you feel overwhelmed with your over 35,000 choices, if you’re struggling to make a decision, spend a moment with Him and ask for His input. I guarantee you will walk away feeling better about the choices you encounter.