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?
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…
This week we celebrated “Independence Day” on July 4. We celebrated self-determination, and the freedom to decide for ourselves who we would be, what we would do, how we would choose to live. But this kind of self-determination comes at a cost. Just think about how many decisions we make in a day—when to wake up, what clothes to wear, what toothpaste to use, what to eat for breakfast. And those are just the easy ones. Other decisions are far more difficult. Should I visit the doctor for my nagging back pain or just suffer through? Is it time to buy a new car or should I get the old one fixed? What about my job, my vacation, my retirement? How will I respond to the latest drama with my family!!
Researchers estimate we have to make about 35,000 decisions every day! Our freedom to choose can be exhausting! Psychologists call this decision fatigue. We’re physically exhausted from all these 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 about the decisions God’s people make every day. It’s a “decision manifesto”—a public declaration of all the little minute-to-minute decisions that need to be made once we make that big decision to belong to a Holy God.
Fifteen times the songwriter declares what he has decided: 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 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: “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 matters of life and death (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. He is the one who can say, “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) It is the biggest and best 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 thirst for him!