At times, we can lack the ability to see how our present choices or actions will affect the greater whole of our lives. In attempting to make the best choices, we can be left wishing we’d gone against our gut. I remember feeling this way after deciding to pursue two graduate programs at the same time, one with almost a full-ride scholarship. As my days of classes seem to drag on and the red tape of program requirements slowly lowered my resolve; my mind began to wander. What if I had just chosen to attend one? Would that have been easier? Would I have better prepared myself for a secure life of adulthood by not taking on quite so much? In attempting to make the best life choice for myself and my future, I felt I had sunk myself. At times, I still feel that way but have developed an awareness I like to call “present hindsight”, where decisions can be more easily approached with knowledge of their outcome.
Ask yourself the following …
Who does this affect?
What part of this could God be using as a testimony?
Where are my resources?
When are my deadlines?
How does my life look on either side of this decision?
Although living to avoid regret is an awful place to make decisions from, it’s not an entirely faulty perspective to maintain (at least I don’t think so)! By looking at the long-term, we are more able to assess what’s at stake and make stable choices.
Regardless of what we choose, how it affects our life or might set us back, God will use every bit. He is an expert piece-picker-upper. Paul knew this first-hand – just look at how God spoke to him throughout his entire ministry. In Acts 16, Paul was literally barred from continuing his journey into Bithynia and was given the vision to go to Macedonia instead. Now did this mean Paul’s original path was wrong? No. It simply means that because he was open to God’s plan, he was redirected. He could have felt rejected, that his own plan wasn’t right…or like a failure because he hadn’t made it to his final destination, but God used Paul’s obedience to assist a completely different group of people. God always has “present hindsight”. Although we are completely allowed and entitled to our own free will, I believe God has a set plan of how He’s going to best use you, choices and all.
God always has “present hindsight”. Although we are completely allowed and entitled to our own free will, there is still a set plan of how your own unique gifts, struggles, knowledge, and tendencies will be used. Arguably then, there are no “bad” choices, only occasional redirections.