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Friends in the Community,

Greetings to each and every one of you from God our loving heavenly Father and our living Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope and pray that this little note finds all of you well as we quickly make our way to the middle of June.

Have you ever had to make a difficult decision? I am sure you have. All of us have those times when we need to make decisions that seem to have major impacts on our lives at certain moments. As these decisions come up, we find ourselves obsessing over what we should do or not do. Every option available to us seems to be the best course for us to take.

Recently, I had to make one of these types of decisions. I was facing a situation that seemed to have a major impact on my life and the life of my family. I had to make some decisions about priorities and future goals. I had to decide if what I thought were current priorities were more important than my future goals.

As I made this decision, I was a wreck, and I was no one for anyone to be near while I was making my decision. If someone was near me, I found myself, almost instantly, bringing up this decision. Sometimes, I would be asking for other people’s advice. Other times, I found myself justifying one direction or the other. What I found was that most of the people with whom I talked agreed with how my life would be if I made this decision one way or the other. I was not finding clarification. This is not always how decisions and conversations about decisions go. There are times when having several conversations about decisions can be helpful for us to choose certain courses of action. For this particular decision, this was not going to work.

How did I make this decision? I had to have a conversation with the One who gave me life in this world and the One who had placed His calling into my life before I was even born. I heard the words of Jeremiah 1:5, which say, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

I realized that the conversations I was having with myself and with other people were missing an important component.

The component that was missing did not involve having more conversations and interactions. What I needed to do was stop talking and start hearing God’s voice in the midst of the decision that needed to be made. What was God calling me to be and what was God calling me to do?

Listening is a skill we do not often employ when we are making our way through the world. Oftentimes, we think that we need to be talking or filling our heads with our own words. When we take the time to listen to what God is saying to us in a given situation, we find that our lives become clarified. Some of the decisions that we need to make become easier, and we are able to have a real sense of peace and calm once the decision is made.

As we experience this peacefulness and calmness, we also see that other people also share their affirmation of the decision with us. This is what happened for me in this decision. What I had to decide had an effect on other people, and the people who were affected could have been upset by what needed to be decided and by the decision that was finally made. This did not happen. Instead, these people affirmed the decision I made, and this is what occurs when we listen to God’s voice and do what God is calling us to do.

Just a thought …

Pastor Josh

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