Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to make wise choices sometimes? I don’t know if you’ve ever found yourself in this situation, but I know on plenty of occasions I have wanted to head in one direction, but instead, for some reason, I headed in a completely separate direction. Let’s take McDonald’s for instance. For the past year and a half, I have been trying to crack down on how much I eat fast food, but then comes along “All Day Breakfast” at McDonalds! Are you kidding me? You mean to say that I can get those tasty, one-dollar sausage burritos ALL DAY? As I drive past those golden arches, it seems like it would be almost fiscally irresponsible not to stop in. I mean, it’s only a dollar! I think you can see the struggle.
I think one of the reasons that it is so hard to make wise choices is because we hear voices. I know that sounds crazy, but we often find ourselves in situations where we hear voices trying to pull us one way or the other. Have you ever seen a TV show or movie where the main character is in a bind and a little angel appears on one shoulder, and a little devil appears on the other shoulder…the angel and devil, both trying to convince the person to make the good or bad decision? It’s like that a lot of times. We hear voices or see influences that try to pull us in one direction or the other.
One example of these voices came to me when I was at an auction with a couple of my buddies. We were just browsing, hoping maybe to pick up some cheap tools, but instead, we ran across this beat-up old fishing boat. It seemed to be in decent condition, but it certainly wasn’t fancy at all. As we were looking at this boat, one of my buddies leaned over to me and said, “You should bid on it.” Being the wise and financially prudent person that I am…I said, “OK!,” and I threw in the starting bid for this boat, and we were off. A gentleman and I got into a little bidding war, and before I knew it, I was bidding with money I really couldn’t afford to spend, for a dumpy boat that I had absolutely no need or desire for. I may have forgot to mention that the boat was sitting on a trailer, but the trailer was not part of the auction, so if I won, we would have to find a way to tie the boat to my friends truck to get it home, and then we’d be stuck with this boat that nobody needed. Lucky for me, I was outbid, and I decided to bow out of the bidding war. But I wouldn’t have been in that situation at all if I hadn’t listened to a little voice pulling me in a direction.
In our culture, there are so many voices pulling us in so many different directions, that it can be hard to know which one to listen to, and which is the wise path to take. But luckily we have a little help. The Psalmist says in Psalm 119, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105 NASB) The word of God has been given to us to help us in those times when we’re not sure where to go. We just need to lean into God’s word, and trust in Him to guide us. He will illuminate our path, and help us find our way so we don’t find ourselves like a boat out of water.