Decision making, choices, is an integral part of life. As much as I might like the process to be more of a formula where I pour in data, criteria, and factors and out pops the answer, real life is never that simple. Decisions are rarely follow a set pattern, data is often changing, and people change their minds. Taking a position, anticipating an outcome always involves putting oneself at risk.
I continue the process of discovering new what and whys of my job. There are new people in new situations with new views of their roles and responsibilities. While everything is a fresh discovery the challenges are very familiar. The old cycles and issues are still here, people are still thirsting to know that they belong, and the fear of not belonging is strong. Taking a view on all of this involves the risk of failing, of being wrong, and of hurting those involved.
Can life be less risky? Is there a way to minimize the damage? Can a formula tame the variables?
The answer is yes, yes, and not really.
Yes, life can be less risky. Yes, there is a way to minimize the damage. The process though involves taking on more uncertainty, because it requires one to walk in faith with God and the Presence. The formula is one of faith lived out in reality; Brennan Manning describes the formula as living with ruthless trust.
The stakes are incredibly high. God acknowledges the risks and downside. “If you wrong me [God], you damage your very soul; when you reject me, you’re flirting with death.” (Proverbs 8.36) The upside is there as well. God’s promise is sure. “When you find me, you find life, real life.” (Proverbs 8.35)
There are those who would ask that every point of risk be removed from life. I believe that this removes what it is to be human; it would take away our ability and freedom to make choices.
I find that in these moments of risk, in my decisions of walking in faith, that I live, really live.