How Can I Be More Present in My Decisions?
I have been doing a great deal of praying about this topic. And, in talking with several close friends about this topic, they are working on the same thing.
I know it sounds silly, right? The last two words are “my decision” so why wouldn’t I be present in “my decisions”? Well, because I often forget that they are my decisions. Or, I think that it is what I am supposed to do or if I don’t do it, I will let someone down.
Ever been there before? Let me give you an example:
A Senior Leader in our organization wanted to have a meeting. The dates were still flexible. He gave a recommendation of the date to have the meeting…On my oldest son’s 6th birthday.
What do I do?
Do I say yes and go?
Do I recommend an alternate date?
If so, do I say why?
What will he think of me?
Will he think I’m not committed to this job?
Will he think I’m not cut out for this work?
I would love to say that all (or even some) of those thoughts ran through my mind. But, they didn’t. I got the e-mail, saw the date, knew it was my son’s birthday, and sent a message back saying – “I will be there.”
After I sent the message, I realized…I did not think that through! What am I doing? Then, all those thoughts came rushing in. Plus these:
What am I demonstrating for my son?
Does he think my work is more important to me than him?
I teach him that his actions speak louder than words – what do my actions tell him?
How am I going to tell this to him?
How will I ever make this up to him?
I sat there wondering, how many other times have I made thoughtless decisions – decisions that I made without thinking of the consequences or the impact on others. Decisions I made without thinking of the personal impact on me. Decisions I made without seeking God for guidance.
This is just one example – here are some other ways these situations arise:
I have a great opportunity AND you are the perfect person for it
You asked me to come to you whenever I needed something – I really need…
I know you are busy, but I know you can handle…
It comes in many forms, but regardless of how it presents itself –
HOW CAN I STOP AND BE PRESENT?
How many times have my actions let my husband down, my kids down, my family down?
How many times have I mindlessly chosen options, that upon further reflection and prayer, I would have chosen differently?
How many opportunities is God going to give me to make the right choices?
So, my 2014 New Year’s Resolution is to be more present. In November 2013, I wrote my six:
Look Up, Live Up, Lift Up
Look Up to God for advice and guidance
Live Up to His expectations (as those I cannot exceed)
Lift Up others around me
In the first week of January, I had already failed in my New Year’s Resolution. I failed to Look Up. I went on my own way to make a decision without seeking God, without thinking of others, just thinking of getting the job done, doing the “right thing”, making it work… FAILED!
Failed. Failed. Failed. God – I need help! Please, help me be more present in Your plan. Please!
Here is the amazing thing about God. Even in this failure – I saw HOPE. God helped me see my error. I may not have looked up before I hit “send” on that e-mail, but it didn’t take me long to see my error. I caught it right away. So, now what?
Well, I wish I could say I did the right thing & sent a letter back saying I would not be there. That I could attend the meeting virtually and would dial in. I wish I could say that. But, that’s not what happened.
I walked into the kitchen and talked to my 5 year old son about how his mommy had made a mistake. I made a commitment I needed to keep, and I would be flying to NY on his birthday. That he means the world to me, and I would find a way to make it up to him.
And, here is what he said…
“It’s okay, mom. I know you love me. I’m sad, but it will be okay.” Then he went back to working on his Kindergarten “homework”.
He is a much better kid than I am a mom!!!
As his birthday approached, something else happened – we were hearing of a monumental snow storm. Snow & cold that hadn’t been seen in years. It’s a Polar Vortex.
And my little, almost 6 year old, as he is saying his prayers before bed says…
“And, God, if there is any way you can delay or cancel my mom’s flight so she can be home with me on my birthday, I would love it. If not, I understand.”
Now, I am not claiming that God grounded thousands of people that day due to my son’s prayer. But, I do know that my little guy’s prayers were answered.
When I saw my flight was cancelled the night before his birthday, I looked at him and said – “Hey buddy, guess what? Mommy’s flight has been cancelled.”
He leapt off of the couch, threw his hands in the air and said, “Hallelujah! My prayers have been answered!” Then, ran over and gave me the biggest hug I have ever gotten. And, he had his mommy home for his 6th birthday.
My prayer is that we all can seek God first in our decisions. That we can be more present in His plan for us, and not what “we” think is best for us. He has a plan for us that is beyond what we could ever imagine.
1 Corinthians 2:9 (GNB): However, as the scripture says: “What no one ever saw or heard, what no one ever thought could happen, is the very thing God prepared for those who love Him.”
I thank You for Your patience with me. I continue to fall, and You continue to lift me back up again. I ask for Your help & guidance, Lord. Help me to seek You first. Help me to be present in You, to chose my actions prayerfully, and have my actions show my husband, my family and the world that I seek You first, I choose You first. Help me stay on the path You have provided and to live up to Your expectations of me. And, please, help me find the words to share Your love with others.
In Jesus name, Amen.