Posted by: cmittermeier | December 4, 2014

Decisions, decisions… aka the Grass is Greener

I was reading in the chapel one of my favourite books, “A Jesuit’s Guide to Almost Everything”. It is such a fun read, and full of lots of little hidden gems. Because of this, you can read it over and over and still find something new to go “aha!” over. For me, it was a small morsel in decision making.

Ignatian decision making has three main types: the unmistakable inspiration, the prayerfully pondered unshakable answer, and the last method that I have yet to decide a playful name for. I am very familiar with the first two: the decision to marry my spouse was very much the first, the decision to homeschool our two boys this last June was the second, but that third one, well, its always been hard for me to understand.

In his book, Fr. James Martin explained that third method better than I have so far reviewed, and here was where my aha moment came. In the third time, there are two methods. It was the first method that had my aha moment. In this method you are reviewing things the way we are taught in school – the good old rational “pros vs. cons” list. There are of course, some important but subtle differences.
– First, put yourself in prayer over the choice (ie, sit down to talk with God about it, open to dialogue)
– Second, identify your ultimate objective – to please God as well as the need to be INDIFFERENT
– Third, ask God to speak to you and help you move to the better decision.
– Fourth, make your lists or pros and cons
– Fifth, pray about them paying attention to which brings more peace
– Sixth, ask for some sort of confirmation from God that it was the right decision
When he speaks on the need to be indifferent, that was where the bells and whistles started to go off for me. How many times have you sat down to make a decision, but came with a preconceived decision already in place? If that was not enough to get me to pay attention, consider this:

The First Method reminds us that no decision leads to the perfect outcome. Each outcome is a mixed bag. Listing the positives and negatives frees you from the idea that a good decision means choosing perfection.

Wow, what a loaded statement! A good decision does not mean perfection. Now that was a huge aha moment for me, I hope it is for you as well.


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