An indecisive person (AKA me) plus a store aisle full of choices = paralysis, disaster, and maybe a meltdown in the middle of the Wal-Mart.
It all started when I poured spaghetti sauce ingredients into my beloved Crock-Pot. I felt like a domestic diva, a household management expert.
After racing from school to activities and then home, I’d be greeted by the aroma of simmering sauce instead of shoving a hamburger and French fries in my face after a drive-thru dinner run.
Only when I arrived home, there was no lingering scent of basil, oregano and tomato sauce in the air.
My Crock-Pot was still cold.
Knowing my propensity for human error, I ran through the possible list of user failures. Had I plugged it in? Check. Had I turned the dial from OFF to LOW? Check.
It had simply died. (Cue funeral dirge).
That means my shopping list now included the item: new Crock-Pot.
Was this a reason to celebrate? Or was it no big deal?
Neither, my friends.
This became a capital-D Decision. I prayed about it. I read about it. I scouted prices online.
Then I stood in that aisle with Jeopardy music ringing in my head, clocking the ridiculous amount of time I stared blankly at slow cookers. Who knew there were so many choices to be made?
Oval or round?
6 quart or 7 quart?
How many programming options did I want?
Was I willing to pay $80 for a slow cooker that would not only prepare delicious meals for me but clearly should also vacuum and do the dishes? (I mean, for $80 it needs to do something incredible.)
It was agonizing. Finally, my Wise Inner Voice held an intervention of sorts and talked my troubled, indecisive soul down off the ledge.
You need a Crock-Pot. This is not choosing a career, a college or who to marry. For crying aloud, you are simply choosing a relatively inexpensive cooking tool for your home. Just pick something.
So, I did. I wanted a Crock Pot with clamps on the lid so I could carry it to church potlucks without spilling soup all over the inside of my minivan.
Programmable would be helpful when I’m out all day and I need the slow cooker to start at noon.
Awesome. I had officially made a decision.
Until I got home. And, that Crock Pot sat in its box. A week later it is still sitting taped up in the original packaging on my kitchen floor.
Because….what if I change my mind?
What if I find a better deal?
What if I made a bad choice?
I am paralyzed by indecision. It is a daily occurrence in my crazy life for me to be trapped by what if’s, possibilities and the pursuit of what is right, wise, and perfect.
Do I want red or blue? Small or medium? The park or the zoo? Soup or a sandwich? To watch a movie or read a book?
Yes. No. Maybe?
I. Do. Not. Know.
And when I do decide, I evaluate and criticize that decision, living in a perpetual state of regret and self-condemnation.
I knew I shouldn’t have bought that Crock-Pot. What a stupid decision. What’s wrong with me?
So, this is the prison of indecision I inhabit, just four walls holding in my kind of crazy. I’m a cowering shadow, afraid of one false move or one bad decision that will disappoint God’s heart.
God says I can ask Him anything. So, I do. I pray for wisdom and guidance for every possible decision, including Crock-Pots.
No lightning strikes, though. No neon arrow points to the right choice.
But here’s what I need to learn.
Sometimes it’s okay to just choose a Crock-Pot. The world isn’t going to explode if I go with the oval one or the other brand.
Not every decision is a life or death matter of discerning God’s will.
Sometimes a Crock-Pot is just a Crock-Pot.
Sure, I’ll sometimes make the perfect decision.
And, at times I’ll just need to break off the chains of regret. So, things didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped. It’s in the past now. Time to let it go and make a new choice on a new day.
As Paul writes:
Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14 HCSB).
After all, God still loves me. He gives fresh mercy with each new day. His grace covers my every flaw, foible, and failure (regardless of my choice of Crock-Pot).
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.