Slow Down, You Have Options


I don't know about you, but I tend to "knee jerk." When I hear of a problem, I want to "knee jerk" and fix it immediately.

When my wife has a bad day - I want to fix it . . . immediately (knee jerk).

When a church member is disgruntled - I want to handle it . . . immediately ((knee jerk).

When I don't know what to do next - I want to do something big and breathtaking . . . immediately (knee jerk).

When I see a new Kindle book at Amazon - I want to click the "Buy Now with 1-click" button - immediately (knee jerk).

When I want a cheeseburger - I want to drive to Five Guys and eat 5 cheeseburgers. . . immediately (knee jerk).

When I need a chunck of cash for a down payment on a new home - I want to go get it . . . immediately (knee jerk).

I am sure there are exceptions to this, but almost NEVER is it wise to act on something immediately. I am learning (ever so slowly) that most - if not all - things that come up do not have to be, and probably shouldn't be, immediately "fixed." I am learning that when my wife has had a bad day, she just wants me to listen. When a church member is disgruntled, oftentimes some deeper reasons are causing it - not just what's on the surface. Not knowing what to do next yields itself to an opportunity to take a deep breath and look for where and how God is working. Borrowing money from one institution in order to get some quick cash keeps you from knowing what other options are out there.

Consider Moses and his father in law Jethro from Exodus 18. In short, Moses was doing too much. Jethro calls time out and tells Moses how ridiculous he is being with his time. Jethro proceeds to show Moses a better way of doing things (see Exodus 18:17-23). Moses was responding to all the immediate needs around him, wearing himself out the whole time - all because he didn't take time to consider a different or better way.

I am not sure why this is so, but it seems like the world we live in demands us to make immediate (knee jerk) decisions. It's almost as if we are going to miss out or lose something if we don't "act now." What I am learning, however, is that usually there are several other options out there that make better sense and will make life better for you (and those around you!) in the long run.

The lesson?

STOP - BREATHE - ASSESS - PROCEED

When a problem/issue/dilemma arises - STOP. Take a deep breath. Remind yourself that this problem does not have to be fixed or handled within seconds (BREATHE). You have some time. It may not be long, sure. But you do have some time. Consider other options (ASSESS) - bringing in others who can help you evaluate (a Jethro). Then PROCEED with the wisest possible solution.

STOP - BREATHE - ASSESS - PROCEED