Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fight Decision Fatigue

"Have you ever made so many decisions in a day that just one more decision, like what’s for dinner, breaks you?

According to Wikipedia, decision fatigue can lead to a reduced ability to make trade-offs, decision paralysis, impulse purchasing, and impaired self-regulation...."

An article I read stated: "If you had all the money you wanted, the only decisions in a supermarket shop would be what you wanted to buy and eat. But those who are on strict budgets must decide what they want, what they can afford, what they need and which versions they can shuffle in and out. High quality, low quality. For every single item. It’s exhausting."

I have a home to oversee, health issues to manage, career to captain and single to boot [plus an adoptive mom now]. So ALL the decisions and the results fall on me. I have hundreds of resolutions to reach during a day and often my mind is looking ahead to decide what to do about life, schedule and finances weeks in advance. To be honest, this has lead me to have a lot of decision fatigue lately. Surely someone out there can relate!

It's not the first time. A few years ago during a stressful time of change and decisions, a friend from church came across me actually sitting in a local bookstore isle surrounded by dictionaries frustrated with tears because I was trying to select the perfect dictionary/thesaurus for my money [decision paralysis]. Recently, I was searching at the store for a new eyeliner pencil when I became overwhelmed by trying to make the best purchase. So I just grabbed one [impulse purchasing] and it wasn't until the other day when I happened to glance down at it that I realized bought lip liner instead and have been using it as my eyeliner. (no wonder it kept smearing - ha)

It's not that a dictionary, eyeliner, or what to have for dinner are huge decisions but that we've been making so many huge decisions that we become mentally burned out. The result is that small decisions just tend to tip the scale over. In an effort to apply a point from the message preached on Sunday, I've sought out advice from a sister in my fellowship, who God put on my heart to talk to, for help with overcoming my own decision fatigue. And, I've also been searching for scriptures to help me.

One that has helped the most is in the book of Job. In Job 42:2 Job states, "I know that you (God) can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted." That might seem an odd verse but this is why it helps me.

I can't mess up God's plans! Wait, do you think that statement's true deep in your heart? I know, it's challenging. I can hear you saying right now..."but I've got free will. I mess things up all the time." Still I don't care what your heart and feelings tell you or what your past choices say...GOD's word says he's got great plans for you and for me (Jer. 29: 11-12) and that no plan of God's can be thwarted. Defined that means that no plan of God's can be opposed successfully, prevented from being accomplished, none of his plans can be frustrated, stopped, hindered, or even defeated. If God wants something to happen it will happen because he will find a way. If he doesn't want something to happen it will not happen. I find the weight simply falls away when I cling to this.

Do you believe? You worship a God that can do ALL things! I get it twisted when I 'think' I have too much control. It's an issue of pride but when I remember that, "In the beginning God..." I, like Job am put in my place. And that's a great place to be! So this verse then helps me to put myself and the decision [huge or small] I'm trying to make in perspective by reminding me that it is God who is working things out in my life and not me.

This or That? Have you ever been stressed out over decisions? In a world full of WAY to many choices for us...if you have not yet felt overwhelmed by the decisions you need to make, you probably will someday. So my hope is that this post will encourage those dealing with it now and equip those who will deal with it someday so that during those times we can all cling to Job 42:2 with all our might.

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