Set sail!

My friend Jack lived in a large house in a pleasant, leafy suburb. It was a great place to raise his family of five, but his children have long since married and moved on. Around 15 years ago, Jack’s business failed, and although it would have made financial and practical sense for Jack and his wife to downsize, they loved their home and always put off the tough decision. They ended up keeping the home by default, probably hoping things would improve. Instead, as the years passed, their debts mounted until they absolutely had to sell. Unfortunately, by this time the housing market had collapsed, and the proceeds of the sale no longer even covered their debts.

Not making a decision is a decision. Like Jack, I have plenty of my own stories in this regard, finding it quite difficult to “sign on the dotted line.” I think there are a few reasons why we sometimes delay our decision-making as long as possible.

Perhaps we hesitate to face an unknown future. After all, as much as we try to anticipate the results of our choices, there are many factors beyond our insight and control. We cannot know for sure what will follow.

Future fears didn’t hold back Abraham. He said “yes” to God and left his home in Haran, not knowing where he was going. 1 Moses showed similar faith, leading the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and onwards to the Promised Land. 2 Jesus’ disciples left their livelihoods to follow Him, which took another kind of faith. 3

Who knows whether Abraham foresaw the difficulties he would face—famine, 4 family troubles, 5 and battles, 6 amongst others. Could Moses possibly have anticipated the troubled wilderness journey ahead? 7 Jesus’ disciples didn’t always have an easy time of things either. Yet events showed that all these people made the right decisions, helping create the foundation for our faith.

Few of us face such dramatic circumstances as these Bible heroes, but we all face choices, big and small. May God help us to make well-considered decisions.

  1. See Genesis 12:1–4; Hebrews 11:8.
  2. See Hebrews 11:27,29.
  3. See Mark 1:16–20.
  4. See Genesis 12:10.
  5. See Genesis 13:7–8.
  6. See Genesis 14:14–16.
  7. See Exodus 16:3.