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Baseball season for colleges and high schools has begun, and major league baseball is not far off. I have read that, during a season, each major league umpire will have to make an average of 9,078 decisions about whether pitches are balls or strikes. This does not include all the other decisions he will have to make about whether runners are safe or out on fly balls, plays at the bases, etc. If you want to be an umpire, you must be able to make decisions.

Life is like that. If you are going to live successfully, you must be able to make decisions. Sometimes decisions are postponed. I heard about a jury that was formed to hear a case. As luck would have it, the jury was made up of four politicians, four lawyers, and four preachers. After the jury had deliberated for several hours, the judge asked the bailiff if they had reached a decision. The bailiff said, “Not yet, they haven’t finished their nominating speeches for the position of foreman of the jury.”

Decision-making is one of the most crucial things that we ever do. We are shaped by our decisions. Have you ever visited with an old friend whom you have not seen in years? The friend may have been someone who lived next door to you when you were a child or someone with whom you graduated from high school. As you visit now, both of you are so different, you wonder how you were ever close. What has happened?

What happened is you both have made many decisions since you were together. Those decisions have carried you in different directions. They have shaped you into completely different people.

Sometimes the decisions had to do with directions. You both stood at crossroads and had to decide which way to go. As Robert Frost said in his poem “The Road Less Traveled,” that decision “has made all the difference.”

Sometimes the decisions have been about matters of priority and Lordship. These decisions have been the kind of decision that Joshua made when he said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” These decisions are crucial. The decisions that we make in our best moments bind us in our worst moments.

Making good decisions is one of the most crucial skills in life. Our greatest help in making them is found in God. On the second missionary journey, Paul and his traveling companions came to Troas and had to decide which direction to go. The Holy Spirit would not give them freedom to go into Asia or into Bithynia. But when they were willing to wait, God directed them in a vision to go into Macedonia. Decision-making is not easy, but God can give us His guidance to make the best decisions in life.

LYNN JONES is a retired pastor, supply preacher and author who lives in Oxford. He can be reached at kljones45@yahoo.com.

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