How do you solve a problem like Maria?

Maria?

I grew up with two women (my sister and mom). I watched a lot of musicals. I pretended I wasn’t. I was.

One of these musicals was The Sound of Music. The nuns had a problem…Maria. She just didn’t fit in. The whole musical is about making decisions. Will Maria work with, stay with, return to the Von Trapp family? Will the Captain love Maria and her love him back? Will the children accept Maria? The list goes on and on.

The musical is all about decisions. Life is all about decisions.

How do you make decisions? I’ve found most people fall into one of two camps. Either we rush into a decision – maybe even blindly, or we wait, wait, wait – maybe even never truly making a decision.

The best decisions are made someplace in the middle – not too quick and not too slow. Most importantly, every GREAT decision keeps in mind Proverbs 3:5-6 –

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

When we are truly following this wisdom from Proverbs, we do 3 things:

1. Don’t Rush…Wait!

Ignorant zeal is worthless; haste makes waste.  -Proverbs 19:2

Kia and I found this out the hard way. About 10 years ago, we rushed into purchasing a piece of property outside our little town. Several factors led up to our decision to move quickly, but the bottom line is we paid way too much. After several years of paying on this land, we found ourselves needing out. So we sold it…at a loss…a short sale loss.

land purchased by Andy Bondurant

Ouch!

We literally lost tens of thousands of dollars on that decision. If only we would have slowed down and done these five things:

  1. Research (Proverbs 18:13) – The world is literally at our fingertips. Find what you need (hello, Google)!
  2. Seek Advice (Proverbs 11:4) – I dare you to ask the person you don’t want to ask for fear of the “wrong” answer 🙂
  3. Be Unified (Proverbs 30:24-28) – Nothing pays like walking lock-step with your spouse and family.
  4. Integrity (Proverbs 10:9) – Will this decision allow you to walk whole in every part of your life?
  5. Hear God’s Voice (Proverbs 3:5-6)

How do we hear God’s Voice? We hear Him easiest and most consistently through Scripture. If you want to hear God’s voice, you need to regularly read the Bible. Personally, I do this with the assistance of a devotional (short reading of Scripture, some commentary on that section and a prayer point). Here are 2 devotionals I recommend:

  • 30 Steps Toward God – a 30 devotional I wrote helping answer the question, “How do I connect with God?”
  • YouVersion Bible App – literally hundreds of devotional plans ranging between a few days to an entire year.

2. Take a Step

I rushed into the decision to buy land, but that isn’t my nature. I’m really more of a wait, wait, wait guy. Because of this, it’s important for me to keep in mind Proverbs 3:5-6. If I truly trust in God, lean on Him and acknowledge God in everything, then when He speaks, I need to step.

Typically, my fear is what I can’t see. My path doesn’t seem straight beyond that first step, but Proverbs 3 promises our path will be straight (and visible) when we put our trust in God.

Proverbs 6:1-11 is a great reminder (I’ll let you look it up…it’s kinda long :). It tells us when we know what we should do…to do it. Don’t wait! Don’t delay! Don’t rest! Do it!!

Here are two questions to ask yourself if you find you are having trouble moving forward:

  1. What’s the Next Step? Don’t focus on anything but the NEXT step. Usually you know what that is. Do that, and you’ll be amazed at how your path begins to straighten up.
  2. What’s the WHY? Sometimes we’re stuck because we don’t have a purpose or the purpose is unclear.

Last year, I started making and selling t-shirts. It’s a long story, but the key is purpose. For a while I did it hesitantly and without much conviction. Then I found a WHY. I began donating proceeds to Escuela Viva – an organization that sends the poorest of the poor children in Reynosa, Mexico to school.

3. It’s Never Too Late!

You might feel like George Costanza – every decision we’ve ever made has been wrong! Can I ever dig out of the hole I’ve made for myself?

I want to let you know it’s never too late!

I recently heard a story about a man in our church who is over 70 years old. He’s loved Jesus, loved his wife and family, but has been impacted by a class he is taking. It’s changed his marriage!

It’s never too late.

Whether you’ve made lots of bad decisions or let lots of opportunities pass you by, it’s never too late! Trust in the Lord!

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