"Would you rather have eggs and bacon or a smoothie?"
This question ties my stomach into knots as I consider my options.
I hate the texture of eggs, but there's less sugar and definitely more protein in them than in a smoothie. Also, bacon? I'm like Ron Swanson when it comes to that magic. But then again, a smoothie sounds so light and refreshing, and I love strawberry and -
"Hey, it's just breakfast!"
My parents' dialogue clashes with my inner monologue.
This is me on a regular basis- I suck at decision making no matter the subject. Choosing a college? Check. Declaring a major? Check.
Deciding what to eat for breakfast? Check.
I try to force myself to act impulsively every once in a while. Like that time I impulsively got a tattoo!
Without warning my parents.
Talk about acting on impulse.
Often though, I cannot listen to my impulses because I'm fearful of making the wrong decision. The anxiety creates a pit at the bottom of my stomach, constantly expanding in and consuming my thoughts. It's an unhealthy habit, but so is smoking. It's hard to quit. Here is the latest dilemma.
I've had an inkling to change my major this school year. It began in October 2017, but I shut it down as just another fear that I assume every major has in the journey of college.
This summer, however, that inkling grew into an overwhelming desire to move to a Communications degree over my current Theater Performance degree.
The decision stresses me out because I love, LOVE my theater people, but I feel the pull towards a new career, and I want to follow that pull. How do you determine whether that pull is the Holy Spirit or the human spirit?
I don't know about you, but I struggle with praying. I have no problem with sharing my fears, my struggles, and my anxieties with God when I'm in the car alone, but when it comes to kneeling before my Father in heaven and asking that His will be done even when my will sounds better at the moment, I stink.
How fitting it is that Jesus speaks about this special communication with the Father God several times in scripture. It's almost like He knew we would need help. Huh.
Just like everything else Jesus taught by example, He offered insight into how we should pray.
He offered not only the "formula" by which we should pray (check out the Lord's Prayer!), but He also prayed Himself as an example for His followers!
Look at this passage in Luke 22:41-43:
"And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 'Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done.' And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him."
This scene takes place literally before Jesus is arrested.
Jesus prayed to his Father. He knelt down before God and asked that He remove the burden of the cross from Jesus' shoulders. That takes some guts considering that Jesus knew God's plans yet still asked that God take the next day away from him.
What blows my mind is that if God had indeed "removed the cup" from Jesus, we would not have the free gift of salvation that we have today. Sometimes, us enduring pain, whether physical or emotional, is the catalyst for change in either our lives or in other peoples' lives.
We don't even fully know the plans that God has for us the way Jesus knew, but we still hesitate to ask for God's intervention into our own plans. We pray the prayer of "not my will, but Yours be done" so casually; do we mean it? If God was to ask us to step out of our comfort zone, would we? Are we connected enough in our prayer lives to hear His voice when He asks us to move? Do we recognize His voice when we are moving and He asks us to switch direction?
I know I need practice.
Psalms 37:4 says that if you "[d]elight yourself in the Lord, [then] He will give you the desires of your heart."
We can easily quote that and think, "Well, God promises us that He will give us everything we want in our hearts and allow all our hopes to go according to plan", but we miss the command that brings about the blessing.
When we align ourselves with our Father, when we listen to our Father, and when we spend time with our Father - our desires change.
We become new creations with new hearts that long for "heavenly things", as hokey as that sounds. It just means that we long to honor God in everything we say, do, and even possess. So the desires of our hearts? Those become the desires that God gives to us.
What does this all mean for an indecisive college student?
It means that as I have grown closer to God, I believe that I've grown to hear His voice more. I pray that I continue to listen to Him as I embark on a new adventure, not forsaking the path I have already trod but adding on to the path ahead. I am moving on to a Communications degree because I believe that is where God is moving me. Maybe that will change and God shuts a future door.
Are you stuck in a rut of indecision? Sometimes, I am so indecisive over the path I should follow that I completely miss making the decision! I think it's better for God to shut the door on your path than for you to never even step towards the door.
I encourage you to pray. Really pray. Not pray harder because I'm not really sure what that would look like (get lower to the ground, I guess?). Speak to God. Tell Him everything. Thank Him for everything. Then, be quiet. Allow Him to speak. It may not be the audible voice you are low-key hoping for, but the more you quiet your world, the more your ears are opened to His voice.
Ask that God continues to mold your heart into a heart that desires what He desires. That is, after all, one of our goals as believers: to have hearts that long for what God wants, hearts that break where His heart breaks.
As I have grown in God, I've realized how much I love Him. I love God, and I don't think I say that out loud enough. Even better, though? God's love for you and me has never changed.
Even when I'm mid-struggle of deciding what to eat for a snack as I write this last sentence.