Praying Mentis

A Laymen's Journey into the Catholic faith.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

On a Good Decision

I am not sure if I have written about this in the past, but before my wife and I were married I was trying to decide whether or not it was the right decision to marry her. I was on a plane to visit her and her family in Mississippi. We had been together for roughly a year. I had to make a decision--do we take the next step? Do we get married? I couldn’t make up my mind, so I did what all normal people do when they try to make a decision--I made a pros and cons list. 

Every time I tell this story, people laugh. It’s ridiculous and probably the stupidest thing I have ever done. Don't worry though--my wife still loves me and we're doing great. 

I only bring this up because I wanted to write on what I learned when I made the best decision of my life. If you know me and my wife, you know I made a really really good decision. Sadly, the well written pros/cons list didn't help at all. It was a waste of time that cost me my credible reputation as a loving husband (and telling the story to my youth group teens made them laugh in my face). I am now scarred.

The reason people laugh when they hear this story is because they know intuitively what I did not know on that plane. They knew that even the bests pros-cons list cannot possibly illuminate all the possible future effects of a decision and make it simpler to make said decision in the present. There are simply too many factors in the present and future that we just can't take into consideration. It's kinda funny--people laugh when they hear this because they are recounting their souls' interior sensibility and knowledge that we cannot do any good without God. (Hey, there is a Bible passage that says that! John 15:5)

The other weekend we heard the story of Solomon: a wise king who asked God for wisdom to govern his people. It says:

10 The Lord was pleased by Solomon’s request. 11 So God said to him: Because you asked for this—you did not ask for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies—but you asked for discernment to know what is right— 12 I now do as you request.[1]  (1 Kings 3:10-15)

Solomon was just like us; he didn't know how to govern his people rightly, with justice, love, mercy, as God wanted him to. 

He did do not have the tools to make an informed decision on what was best for his people, but that was ok because he relied on God to help him rule justly. Just like with Solomon, God can see the best path for us. 

The question I very frequently hear is, "Can an all powerful God love every person on this planet?!" To answer this we just to need to look at the countless lives that Jesus personally took interest in. Jesus healed the leper (Mark 1:40-42), healed the man with the withered hand (Mark 3:1-6), healed a Roman soldiers' servant (Matthew 8:5-15), and did countless other healings for different people in different circumstances all throughout the Bible. The last one I want to mention is when Jesus healed the paralytic and forgave his sins (Mark 2:9-12). I believe this is the most beautiful healing in the Bible that illustrates how Jesus loves us. This man comes to Jesus, telling him that if Jesus desires to heal him he can. In a way, this is the same question we struggle with. This man didn't have to ask if Jesus had the power to heal him and we don't either. We know God is all powerful. The remaining question then is--does Jesus love everyone of us? In each of the healings that took place in the Bible we are supposed to hear the resounding answer to this question.

If we do not rely on Jesus, life will be hard. We will constantly question ourselves. Asking over and over, am I where I am meant to be? How can I know for sure that I made the right choice? How about you start from the beginning. God loves you. Because God loves you, you can safely assume that He wants you to become the best version of yourself and is invested in you. He will guide you.

It is very difficult to make a wrong decision if it is made in prayer with God. I would dare say it is impossible, but I don't want to be a heretic. God never forsakes us and all things work together for those who love God.

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God,* who are called according to his purpose.[1]” (Romans 8:28)

This passage is often translated as, “We know that God makes everything work for good for those who love God.…” God gives us direction. God leads us.  If you want to make the right choice, love God and the rest will make sense. You will know where you are meant to be and what you are meant to do. God's personal love and interest in us is what should bring us endless streams of hope as christians. Actually, that is a great title for my next blog... Hmmm...

*Special thanks to for the 1st image and for the 2nd image.*