To find peace of mind, just make a decision

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Isn't the biggest part of our lives spent trying to decide on something? When you're young, you certainly have a lot to figure out.

Children are included in the circle. From infancy they must make decisions -- such as whether to cry to gain attention or coo and smile. When they're older, they're in a dither trying to choose what toys they want for Christmas or birthdays. Then parents have to agree on what school the children attend.

Everyone spends his early years trying to make it out of school. Decisions centering on school include what subjects to study, the right people to choose for friends and, for sure, trying to discover what you're all about inside. You haven't yet learned to just be genuine, so you try numerous characters on to see which one fits you best. When you decide to just be yourself, you eliminate that stress. Decisions can be fun and interesting, but they are almost always frustrating.

Finally, after deciding what kind of education to pursue -- a chore that sometimes takes years -- you're finally off to seek your fortune. Then there's the dilemma of whether to stay single or marry. You wonder if you should become a parent or remain childless. Constantly making decisions is the most challenging task one performs.

You must decide where and what you eat. Where to live is crucial to many, while to others it makes little difference. What religion or spirituality you claim is another area you investigate and think about. The kind of home you like, how to decorate it and whether it should be in the city or in the country, you still must decide one way or the other.

People's minds are constantly moving with thoughts on something. You often make decisions -- whether to talk or remain quiet, whether to visit or not to visit, whether to be friendly or aloof. That's a main reason why children and teenagers must be kept busy performing useful and ethical tasks or experiencing age-appropriate moral entertainment. Youths will decide how to fill their time and expend their energy.

The point of summarizing and itemizing areas requiring decisions is so we recognize that everybody has to make them. Otherwise you keep wavering and continue to wallow in turmoil. Although what you choose may not always be the best solution, don't look back. Realize that you did the best you could at the time, and go on with your life. Scripture addresses the issue when it speaks of having a divided mind. James 1:5-8 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord: he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."

To maintain peace of mind, deliberate, weigh the consequences and then decide.

Ellen Shuck holds degrees in psychology, religious education and spiritual direction and provides spiritual direction to people at her office.

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