In A Nutshell | January 8, 2021

Responding to Life’s Curve Balls

When life throws you a curve, should you take the pitch, or swing as hard as you
can and try to hit it? I guess it depends on the situation, but often you don’t have much
more than a split second to make a decision.

Life is full of curve balls, and when they come our way, we need to respond in
short order. Last Sunday, for example, I was preparing to come to church to get ready
for our first worship service of the new year. I was looking forward, as I always do, to
communing with each of you. Then I learned that my granddaughter had tested positive
for the coronavirus.

First, there was the initial shock and concern for her. Then, I had to think about
my next move. Should I come to church and lead worship as I am called on to do, or
should I stay away and enter into quarantine? What was the right decision? Either way,
I didn’t have much time to make it.

In the meantime, my son and daughter-in-law (who is a medical doctor) called
and strongly advised me not to go. By this point, I was already in the car headed to the
church, so I called Jen and asked her and Miriam what they thought. Ultimately, we
decided it would be most prudent for me not to come. I could possibly infect others,
despite that fact that I would stay masked and distant from everyone else. What I
initially thought was the right and responsible decision turned out to be a wrong and
potentially dangerous option, so I turned around and went home.

Fortunately J.J. was planning to be there, so I called and asked if he would take
over. Like a faithful disciple and a real trooper, he willingly and graciously stepped up
and did a great job leading the service, much to the delight of all of us at Oak Chapel.
So, what’s the moral of the story? For me, I guess it’s that I need to step back
before I make any decision, even if I don’t have a lot of time. I might think I have all the
facts, but if I don’t seek God’s wisdom and listen to other believers, I’m probably going
to set myself up for failure.

There is plenty of Scripture to guide our decision making, including this from
Psalm 27:14 – “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the
Lord.” Valuable advice in just 16 words, four of which are repeated: “Wait for the Lord!”
And, consider this well-known passage from Proverbs 3:5-6 — “Trust in the Lord
with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways,
acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Perhaps we can remember those passages moving forward, so that every
decision we make will be based on His Wisdom and guidance.

Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John

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