The Art of Decision Making
By Mr. Dimitri Kamberidis
December 11, 2019
Having to make decisions is the worst, isn’t it? Will it be Main Street for lunch today, or Chipotle? Well, I tend to like supporting small businesses, and the owner is an SSCA graduate…Main Street it is! But wait, Chipotle just got Queso sauce! But no one makes a chicken parm like Main Street. But I just had chicken for dinner last night. But I’d get a chicken burrito anyway, so what’s the difference? But…you see where I’m going with this. Decisions, big or small, are often so difficult to make. We can usually see the value of both sides, and we can’t always guarantee the outcome. Although it still is a pretty important decision, choosing what you want for lunch is nowhere near the level of significance of deciding what you want to do and where you want to be after graduating high school.
I grew up surrounded by the church. My dad was a pastor, and my mom always led worship. When my brother and I were toddlers, we were the only ones allowed to be at youth camp, because our parents were the ones leading it. As my mom and dad were singing and speaking about God, my brother and I were fighting battles of epic proportions with our toys in the back of the room. It wasn’t just the devil taking major losses on those nights, Cobra Commander, Darth Vader, and Magneto were too. Growing up with a spiritual foundation was priceless for us, and I am thankful for the lessons I still carry with me today.
One of those lessons we were taught when we were older was about spiritual decision making by one of my dad’s best pastor friends, Rev. Robert Garrison, or “Brother Bob,” to us. He was a humble, gracious servant of Christ, and here’s what he passed onto us as a three question guide for making decisions:
- Is it Biblical?
- Do the circumstances line up?
- Is there a check in your spirit about it?
For you to proceed with an option, the answer to the first two questions has to be “yes.” Whatever you are doing has to agree with the teachings of the Bible. Of course there are a lot of things today that weren’t around in Bible times, but if you know your Bible, you should be able to find something in it that relates to your question in some way. How about the circumstances? Does it actually make sense? Does going to a college that doesn’t have any of your academic interests, just because your friend is going there, make sense? Not really. And question number three–that’s where the Holy Spirit comes in. Do you have peace about it? Or are you conflicted? People are faced with decisions everyday, and we often make mistakes and don’t choose the best option for ourselves. But we can put ourselves in the best position if we follow what the Bible lays out for us. Did you know that you can actually ask for wisdom, and God will give it to you? James says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you (James 1:5, NIV).”
This spiritual decision making process is applicable to all of us, but I especially encourage our students coming to the age of deciding what they are going to be doing and where they will be heading after high school graduation to use it. Choosing a college or career path after high school is one of the most important decisions in anyone’s life. You might be feeling like you’re still just a kid, not ready to make a decision that will have a lasting impact on your future. You may be stuck between two perfect options for you, and you don’t know which one to choose. You may not have any idea what you want to do, feeling lost as you see all of your friends seemingly having everything figured out.
There’s a lot of stressors that go into Senior year. Grades, test scores, essays, applications, interviews, deadlines, finances, scholarships, activities, sports, work. That’s not to mention having to balance all of that with finishing the academic year on a strong note. How about the pressure of expectations? What your family expects you to do. What your friends are doing and what they think you will do. What people in a similar position or standing as you are expected to do based on societal norms. How about all of these, with the added bonus of the possibility of living away from home for the first time ever, having to decide who you want to be, for yourself?
If you think I’m writing all of this to scare you, I’m not. The years directly following high school are such exciting times, and there’s never another period in your life like it. If you are really struggling to decide where you want to spend the next four years of your life, I encourage you to ask God for wisdom, and to follow Brother Bob’s trusty three question system. Following God’s guidance is way better than any Guidance Counselor can do for you. It’s better than any friend or family member as well. We are all here to support you, but in the end, it’s going to be you sitting in that lecture hall. It’s going to be you going to that basketball game. It’s going to be you staying up late in the library trying to finish that essay that’s due in three hours. It’s going to be you eating in the cafeteria. It’s going to be you waking up at 5:00am to run for PT. It’s going to be you living in that dorm room and hopefully getting to sleep at a decent hour so you can wake up in time for your 8:00am lecture (I’m looking out for you, moms). So when you decide where you’re headed and what’s next for you after SSCA, I hope it’s a decision that you’re comfortable with, knowing that when you’ve done your best, God will take care of the rest.