Saturday, July 2, 2011

Decsions, decisions: don't sacrifice your peace

I've been away for a couple of days. There have been things to think about -- things that keep you up at night. These things upset the balance of life, and steal a person's peace. Sometimes they are even good things. Imagine losing sleep over having to decide among good things. But, that's exactly what I've been doing.

My troubles stem from too much of a good thing -- recently lots of opportunities have come my way. And, some things can stay, but others have to go. The answers don't always show themselves clearly, and that 's when worry creeps in and mixes things up. How exactly does one decide amongst goods; how does one decide which good must go and which good can stay?

There's no sin involved in the choice. In other words, I don't have to worry whether what I am about to enter into puts my soul at risk. But it could become sinful if I don't pare things back.  

Not being willing to sacrifice my peace, I spent some time putting things into perspective (at 2am). And I made a decision to give up something that I truly love to do. Several factors came into play -- some that assisted in making the decision, others that muddled the works.

Here's how I worked it out:

1. Pray -- I put my petition before the Lord through the intercession of Our Lady.  This came as the result of a million things converging in my brain at midnight. It's not always easy to remember to pray when things happen at strange times or in under unusual circumstances. But, its always a good thing to help soothe the soul and remind you that you are not alone in your anxiousness.

2. Next, I assessed my options based on the following (the list is not all inclusive):
a. Which opportunity would help me to increase my relationship with God?
b. Which opportunity would allow me to live my vocation as wife and mother fully?
c. How would each opportunity benefit my marriage, family, neighbors and me?
d. How would each opportunity negatively impact those same people?
e. Is there any spiritual or temporal reason to avoid any of the opportunities?
f. Would I be going against any prior agreements to decide against an opportunity?
3. Then, I made a decision by considering all the answers to the questions I asked myself. And, while it was a difficult decision to come to, I know that in the presence of God, I worked through the pros and cons based on the most important factors.

Not all decisions can be made using this three part system. Almost always, I consult my husband, but on this one I knew he would agree because it had an impact on his life if I were to continue; leaving the situation would make his life a little easier. I didn't feel that I was at risk of going against his better judgment.

It's good to have at least one thing (out of several that need to be reevaluated) off my plate. Sometimes God stops you where you are -- or keeps you from your sleep -- to help you see that peace is at risk and something must be done. Listen, pray, act and move forward in His will. Don't let worry and fear paralyze you and steal your peace. Hope in God and use the gifts He has given you to make things work.

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