I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise. I will be careful to lead a blameless life—when will you come to me? (Psalm 101:1-2)
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…
Do you remember back in March of this year when everything was shut down, and we were told we couldn’t go anywhere or do anything until further notice…no exceptions?
WASN’T THAT GREAT?
I’m joking, of course—it wasn’t great. But when the Coronavirus came to our American shores like a Cat-6 hurricane, suddenly all of our decisions were being made for us, and they were all pretty simple…like, STAY HOME! We may not have liked it, but at least it was easy. We may not have all agreed with the every order or restriction, but we were unified in our compliance. Now, however, we find ourselves making decisions every day—hundreds of them. Do we need to wear a mask in this situation…can we visit our friends or family…do we cancel our vacation or wedding…should I stock up on toilet paper? And we also find ourselves judging or fighting with anyone who chooses differently from us!
Psychologists have a name for what we are experiencing as a society—it’s called decision fatigue. In the middle of the current pandemic, political climate and racial unrest, we are all becoming fatigued. We’re physically exhausted from all these additional decisions that need to be made. And this fatigue, experts warn us, can often lead to making poor choices…selfish choices…or just avoiding decisions altogether.
Psalm 101 is all about the decisions God’s people have to make every day. It’s a sort of “decision manifesto”—a public declaration of all the little minute-to-minute decisions that need to be made once we have made that big decision to belong to a Holy God.
Fifteen times the songwriter declares what he has decided to do: I will sing to the Lord, I will be careful to lead a blameless life, I will watch how I conduct my household, I will keep my eyes away from anything vile, I will have nothing to do with evil, and so on. These are choices that need to be made every day—minute-to-minute decisions—will I choose what is right in this situation or will I choose what is easiest, what is most expedient, what pleases or entices or benefits me in the moment. Will I be a servant of Almighty God or will I become a slave to my own fears and desires?
Decisions, decisions, decisions… I will stop doing things that are sinful or selfish; I will continue doing the things that demonstrate gratitude to God and love for my neighbor; I will begin doing whatever God is calling me to do and going wherever He is calling me to go next. Belonging to God and following Jesus’ example requires us to make those kinds of choices all the time—big decisions and little ones—and it can feel exhausting.
And so, the psalmist acknowledges his need and makes his appeal: “Lord…when will you come to me?” (vs. 2) Without the presence and power of God to help us, all of these minute-to-minute choices are not only exhausting…they are impossible!
Jesus told his disciples that following him would mean constantly making hard decisions—choices about wealth and security (Mark 10:21), choices about friends and family (Luke 14:26), even life and death choices (Matthew 16:24). And he warned them in advance, “apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Without Jesus, our discipleship is not only exhausting…it’s impossible. But with Jesus, everything becomes possible! As the Apostle Paul would discover and declare, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
Are you experiencing decision fatigue in your discipleship journey? Make a choice to stay close to Jesus. It is the biggest decision you can ever make, and it’s the only choice that can make all of the other decisions possible. He is where your help and your strength comes from; he is the True Vine, the Living Water…always stay thirsty for him!