30 September 2010

How Do We Make the Huge Decisions in Life?

With Calvinism and courage.

Calvinism says: The God presented to me in the Bible is so massive, so much more life-encompassing than the puny little super-god I could have conceived of on my own, that he determines the roll of the dice in Las Vegas (Prov 16:33) and the choices Obama makes (Prov 21:1) and 9/11 (Amos 3:6) and even human sin (2 Sam 24:1ff)--including the Sin of all sins, the murder of the only person who ever lived without deserving to be murdered (Acts 2:22-23; 4:27-28). This is a God so great, so magnificently in control, that he can tell us Jesus will be betrayed as it has been decreed from heaven and, in the same breath, pronounce woe on the one by whom he is betrayed (Luke 22:22).

Courage says: Game time. Let's go. Not sure what exactly is best here, but I'm going to trust God and take a leap. Life is short. Death is coming. Risk is good. God is big. Failure is likely. But even that can only be for my good. I'm not sure this parachute is going to open: I'm jumping anyway. Enough waiting. Enough pondering. It's time to kill the fierce instinct of self-preservation that keeps whispering to me to play it safe.

At the forks-in-the-road of our lives, these are the two things we need: Calvinism and courage. Calvinism without courage is robot-ism, vacation-ism, paralyzed lethargy. Courage without Calvinism is frantic, scurrying, anguished desperation.

Calvinism says, Relax, he's running the show. Courage says, Just take a risk and do something.

Big theology, big guts.

Do you have a decision to make in life? Trust God and plunge in, one way or the other. Go for it. What honors God more: days and weeks of delayed decision-making as you 'pray about it,' or getting off the couch and taking a risk? It's not a strict either-or, of course. Let's certainly bathe our big decisions in prayer and seek the wisdom of others. But having done this, just do something. Jump. Do it.

Yes, it might be painful. But I would like to lie on a hospital bed, breathing my last, in 50 years (or next week), and not wonder what might have happened had I taken that risk. I would like to have more scars, from taking more risks. Wouldn't you?

After all, he bears scars from taking the ultimate risk for us.


ErinOrtlund said...

Great post, Dane!

Gabe said...

Very nice. I've only ever read your father's stuff but dang, I'll have to start reading yours too now.