Warning: This blog is under the influence of the Holy Spirit. (That's actually a blessing of course. I'm just trying to be fair to the skeptics.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

All creatures, big and small, make decisions. Albeit, not by the intellect; that’s a human characteristic. Interestingly, that unique human capacity can also cause us to fail in even making a decision, let alone make a bad one. The lion will eat its young if starving. We can too. But faced with a similar dilemma most would choose to serve the young first. It’s in our truer human nature to do the latter.  
Often, we are faced with indecision about the many things in our lives. From large to small, from the critical to the trivial. We look at our needs and the needs of others (hopefully) as we seek that “correct” decision, that fulcrum we need to move ourselves along in a positive direction toward our future.
We weigh the “what ifs;” we act as geometers when we look at the problem from all the angles. We analyze and synthesize; we contemporize what others have done before us in order to gain insight into our particular quandary. And often, we eventually come to some semblance of a sound decision.  Absent an emergency situation, this is good and proper.
What happens if we don’t make a decision? Do we miss the boat? Do we languish in pain?
I’ll admit, we sometimes imagine problems that don’t exist; or, the problem somehow solves itself without our action. Thank God for those kinds of problems.
Sadly, it’s also possible that from ones lack of decision, a decision can be foisted upon you. Often, this is to your own detriment.
The fact is, when we procrastinate too long we might just miss the boat or suffer. It might be better to jump on log and paddle with your hands than to wait for tickets to state room on a cruise liner.  
Then, sometimes we make a decision but can’t put it into action. We see the mountain and feel overwhelmed instead of seeing the few feet of trail in front of us and feel confident. This happens when we know what to do about a problem, or direction we wish to take, but we don’t know where or how to begin. This is another place where indecision can harm us if we don’t place one foot in front of the other. We need to focus on the trail and not the mountain.
It’s like this:
Any time is better than not at all. Most anything is better than nothing. Any place is better than no place.
When in doubt, slog it out.
The same can be said of how or when to serve others as this is what makes us truly human. In the western world, we are blessed to be deluged with choices (not all of them good I might say.) So, it follows that trying to decide how to serve others could cause indecision lock up. Fortunately, we need not look too far down the long list of causes available to us; although, we certainly can.  
Movement needs to occur; it need not be perfect at first; it need not be pretty in the beginning; it certainly need not be grand in the sense that we usually think of in today’s culture where greatness is defined in terms of popularity, money, and good looks.
Today’s gospel reading should remind us that, in fact, true greatness means humble service to others “…whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mk 10:43)  
So what of our decision to serve others. Certainly, there is much work to be done.  But, one need not agonize over some grand plan and thus suffer from indecision. Anywhere we jump in is “good to go.” At home with family or at work with our co-workers and those we serve in our vocations are good places to begin. These things are right in front of us, like that few feet of trail leading to the mountain top.
Put another way, your simple log will be sufficient. Besides, you can always trade in your log for a canoe with oars later on, up the river. But at least you will have jumped in.  And, with that simple decision, you are acting in a manner closer to your truer self.
Once that is done, you may find that most of the heavy rowing will be done for you.

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