“They don’t care.” Those words came from my 13-year-old grandson in response to my concern when I realized a couple of our barely-over-the-age-limit grandkids had ordered kids meals. The, “they” in his phrase referred to the restaurant owners. Now I’m stinging from big-time regret because I allowed a golden “teachable moment” to pass by me.
I could make up plenty of excuses about being rushed and distracted. After all, the place was loud and busy, and I was paying for a total of 13 people. But all I had to do was speak to our server and let her know about the mistake. Instead, I permitted things to keep moving along, and now the question, “How could you let that happen?” won’t leave my mind.
Yes, we are all imperfect humans, and mistakes will happen. But there’s no excuse for failing to learn from our mistakes. We’ll never receive a list of “moments of truth” incidents for the day ahead, giving us time to think it through in advance. No, they jump out quicker than new puppy wetting the floor. So, what can we do to improve our chance of making the right decision quickly in a fast-paced, distracted environment?
Make One Decision Every Day
One decision? One time a day? Too simple? Not at all if we put it into practice. Think for a minute about the situations we all face every day:
Distractions grow faster than teenage boys. Phone calls and text messages seem to know just when to cruelly interrupt our most profound point of concentration. Our fast-paced environment results in wandering minds.
A few days of success convince us we’ll be fine just skipping today. Trust me. That’s the very day you’ll make a regrettable decision.
“Every Day” comes around a lot, and no two are exactly alike. What about weekends, vacation days, mornings when you oversleep and rush out to catch up, days when you or a family member is sick?
To combat these distractions and road blocks, choose a Bible verse (maybe even one of the verses at the top of this post), commit it to memory, and rely on God’s word to carry you:
Begin each day with a quiet time with God. Choose what and how much time fits you best but make it when you know you can commit to it. During this time, read and meditate on a Bible passage, then spend some time in prayer.
During your prayer time, ask God to keep your chosen verse (His word) at the forefront of your thoughts and preceding your actions every minute of the day.
Make one decision each day to live out God’s word. Pledge to God to consider that verse all day. Even amid busyness and distractions, let it be your guide.
Few, if any of us, suddenly become the person God desires us to be. In his book, The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson teaches that whatever we become is the result of numerous decisions made over a long period. Once in a while, he says, we may experience a “quantum leap” when we realize significant progress has occurred. But, the vast majority of change happens in small, subtle increments.
What better time than right now to begin (or continue) becoming the person God desires us to be?