“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” – Joel 3:14
Many probably feel as I do that ever since high school it seems decision-making is a big part of our everyday experience. Hopefully, we make more right decisions than wrong.
I am reminded of a story about M. R. James, the founder of Bowhunter Magazine who is an expert hunter and committed Christian. He is normally a very accurate shot but like all archers has occasionally missed the mark. Being a good shot with a bow has a lot to do with decision making – especially about distance. More shots are blown because an archer has failed to make a correct judgment about the range his arrow should travel.
Such was the case with M.R. during a hunting adventure in Utah’s Book Cliffs on the Tavatut’s Plateau Ranch. M.R. was hunting among the quaking aspens and sage, the weather was typical for late August hunts in that area. Cool mornings with a warm-up during mid-day usually produced some good hunting.
While quietly moving through the woods, M.R. encountered two other hunters who were field-dressing a nice buck they had just arrowed. M.R. introduced himself and his wonderful magazine during the conversation. Suddenly, the three hunters were silenced by the clop-clop sound of a deer’s hooves striking stones as it was coming down the trail they were on. To their amazement, a large mule deer buck with a dandy rack came walking right by the hunters. The deer strolled to within 15 yards. M.R. still holding his bow, strung up an arrow and pulled back. While holding on to this animal he began to make critical decisions about distance, arrow flight, aim point, background, and how he would be celebrating his harvest.
Letting the shaft fly, the missile sailed harmlessly under the buck’s belly. The deer decided this was not the place to be loitering and disappeared about as quickly as he had appeared. The two hunters working on the downed animal looked at each other and said, “So, you write for a bow hunting magazine?”
Sometimes our decisions can have far reaching implications. The Prophet Joel said it well when he exclaimed, “multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!” Making the right decision can sometimes be tough! The correct decision will send us along the right path. A wrong decision will often lead us in the opposite direction that our hearts tell us.
Abraham made a decision to enter Hagar’s tent and make a baby for the continuance of his family line. He thought he couldn’t wait upon God’s promise. The result was the birth of a son named Ishmael who became the father the Arab nation.
Noah, on the other hand, made the decision to obey God and build a gigantic boat. Because of Noah, the bloodline to Christ was preserved, as he allowed his family to be spared from God’s wrath.
Then there was David, who made a decision to stay back at the palace when he needed to be out leading his men in battle. David was idly standing on the roof of his palace when he saw Bathsheba. The rest is history.
And we remember Moses who forfeited the opportunity to enter the Promised Land because of his decision to react in anger and strike the rock in Horeb against God’s specific instructions.
Paul and Silas made a decision to enjoy the Lord and praise Him while shackled in chains at the jail in Philippi. They chose to focus on God instead of their circumstances.
The thief on the cross made a decision to repent, then found himself in paradise that same day with Jesus!
Decisions, decisions, decisions. You have probably discovered that one of the secrets to being a fulfilled, joyous Christian who makes good decisions is keeping your focus on Jesus. He will direct you no matter what you are going through. (1 Corinthians 10:31).
What decisions are before you this day? The key to decision-making is “Lord, from this day forward, I want everything I do to bring honor and glory to your Holy name.” Sounds easy doesn’t it? Let’s agree to daily and even hourly confer with our Savior to seek His will and guidance on the decisions we make.