Turning a life around is not about a one-time choice and then we’re done. To turn a life around, we must set our direction and then carry it out within our momentary and daily choices in support of that decision. It’s like the navigation of a ship. We change the trajectory of our lives by setting a new course. With our destination in mind, we navigate that direction with our daily choices.
Working Your Decision
Many Christians want to believe that a choice is a once and for always thing. Who wouldn’t? Decision and choosing is hard work. But the one-time choice doesn’t tend to be long lasting. Once I set my will with my course, then it must be supported with gradual rudder adjustments to keep me on that course. This is the WORK of decision.
When navigating a large sailing vessel, the captain plots out a course, which sets the direction. He maintains that direction every moment along the journey. And if that vessel sails off course, it might take time to course-correct. Impatience and frustration does nothing to assist in this process. The captain can fume and rant all day long, but that’s simply exhausting the energy he needs to make an actual change. In the same way, the changing direction of my life is not supported by frustration. Actually, frustration might thwart my efforts to change.
Stay Calm and Make a Decision
While despair might make good fodder to fuel my choosing, depression itself only zaps the energy I have to actually live out my choice. Oh, I know this one well. Wringing my hands in worry and doubt rather than setting my course for change. It reminds me of a Bob Newhart skit called, “Stop it!” It’s easy to sink into despair rather than doing the work of choosing. While this skit is an over simplification and impossible without the Life of Christ, it does have its merit. It is easy to get caught in a web of despair and avoid the actual work of decision.
I recently witnessed someone change the direction they had been living most of their life. In their day-to-day movement it was almost imperceptible, but after a season of time their choice was made evident and clear. They had righted their vessel and were sailing firmly on the new course they had chosen. They did the internal work of decision and changed their life course. It was beautiful to see!
Consider well and watch carefully the path of your feet, and all your ways will be steadfast and sure.
Proverbs 4:26 AMP