Option Overload

choices and options

If my choices only involved cereal, it wouldn’t be too bad! But some have life-long consequences.


Help! I’m in ‘option overload!’

As a seven year old with a nickel to spend on candy, there weren’t all that many to choose from. Today the choices are far too many to enumerate in just 400 words.

Haircuts were either ‘trim’ or crewcut. Hair color was ‘what you had was what you kept.’ Back just three generations from where I now look, you could have any color car you wanted … as long as it was black.

In college, food choices were ridiculously simple – you got what they put on your tray. Compare that with today’s students needing to choose between salad bar, taco bar, Chinese cuisine, etc.

Career choices often followed a parent’s … location for some meant never moving beyond the other end of town. Nobody thought in terms of multiple jobs and/or career choices, let alone whether to follow your dream across the country or overseas.

And having a family? Not that long ago you couldn’t know prior to birth if your baby was a boy or girl. Now choices include whether to keep the pregnancy  and if so to determine your child’s sex and personality type ahead of the birth!

While not advocating a return to three cereal choices (Rice Krispies, Cheerios and Wheaties) slimming down choices might make life a bit less stressful. And it can be done. Travel the aisles at Trader Joe’s for instance. In picking out canned corn for the family there is only one brand available. Wow! That was easy!

But the pressure of constantly having to make choices whether critically important ones that will affect generations or small ones that really don’t matter all that much … the very act of choosing has another side effect.

It reinforces our sense of control. Making determinations all alone can sometimes be risky. And making any major choice without consulting God is never a good idea. For we sometimes use that ‘choice to choose’ unwisely. A story in Scripture shows an example of this. Abraham and his nephew Lot shared common land until their flocks became too large for one area.

In Genesis 13 we read that Lot “lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere . . . then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan.”  He not only chose for himself, but by himself. Uncle Abraham, however, was content to allow God to choose for him. Lot chose a place that would bring great sorrow to his family while Abraham enjoyed God’s blessings.

Making an important decision without God’s input is like being a sole-proprioter.  But sorting through options with God at your side is a partnership.

Go ahead and choose, but include God in the process.


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