Thursday thoughts: Let God guide you in your decision-making


My husband is the king of “made up” games for the grandkids. They play “fish bait,” where he throws an empty lotion container, which is the bait, in the middle of the bed and the kids try to get it like fish. They play their own version of click list (which is quite entertaining) among other crazy made-up games like restaurant ordering, hair salon etc.

He has recently taught them to play “statue.” He usually starts this game at bedtime with the two youngest and I think you will see why. He has them lay perfectly still while he either says crazy things or uses a stuffed animal to “pretend” talk to them. The object of the game is for the girls to be perfectly still and quiet while he tries to get them to move or laugh which determines if they are a statue or a real person. Crazy, I know. Of course, he always manages to make them laugh to prove they are a real person.

I was thinking about this game and laughing to myself when I remembered another game he taught them back in the fall. It was called “catching leaves.” Our house is surrounded by woods so, as you can imagine, we have tons of leaves. The object of this game is to try and catch the leaves before they hit the ground. It is quite comical to watch, especially when the wind is blowing. Every so often they might catch a leaf, but most of the time they just look like they are running in circles.

When I think about this game, it reminds me how making a decision is a little like catching leaves for me. Let me explain. Some decisions are just easy and straightforward and don’t really require too much thought. I know what the Word of God says about the path or decision I should take and there is not any wavering. It’s pretty much black and white and a done deal. These are like the leaves that are falling when there is not a breeze. They pretty much fall straight down and are easy to catch. You usually know exactly where they are going to land which makes your decision on where to stand quite obvious and easy.

However, there are decisions that have to be made where my feelings, emotions, and heart are involved. It’s these decisions that make me feel like I am a crazy person running around trying to “catch a leaf.” Let me try and help you understand what I am talking about.

If a leaf is falling from a tree and it is very breezy or windy it can float from one end of the yard to the other. It can look like it’s about to hit the ground and then the wind will whip it back up again. When I try to make a decision based on my feelings and emotions I am just like that leaf. It really depends on where I am at emotionally that very moment. I can “think” I have my mind made up and then the breeze picks up and my emotions are off to a different place which leaves me confused and undecided again.

The same situation can happen depending on what or how I am “feeling” that particular day or moment when I must make a decision. (I bet you couldn’t tell I am so bad at making decisions.) Honestly, when I base my decisions on my feelings and emotions that decision can change many times. I must remind myself of these things – pray before deciding, ask God for peace, and make sure I’m feeling the presence of the Lord and not the wind of my emotions.

Let’s face it, we all have those hard, tough, sometimes life-changing decisions that we face. We do not need to take those decisions lightly. Praying about that decision is the ONLY way you will receive God’s wisdom and peace in your decision. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” If you are facing a tough decision and not sure how to deal with it, turn to God. Ask Him to provide you with HIS wisdom to make the best decision.

I must remind myself the wind that blows around my emotions will change my decision. This can allow my emotions for that moment to change my decision. However, if I have prayed diligently about the decision and have God’s peace I can have confidence in my decision. Confidence is when you feel certain about the truth of something. God’s peace will give me the confidence to navigate the decision-making process.

I’m sure you are like me and do not want to be tossed around in the wind of a decision. In James 1:6, God’s Word says to ask in faith (pray), without doubting (confidence), for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea (leaf) that is driven and tossed by the wind (no peace). The words in parenthesis are mine.

I’m sure we all want to make wise, God-honoring decisions in our lives. We must remember that our feelings and emotions will toss our decisions into a frenzy which at times could lead us to trust ourselves instead of Him. I hope you will join me in trying to remember NOT to make decisions with your emotions or based on how you feel. Let’s pray about them, ask for God’s peace, and be confident in the answer He provides.

I’m sure I won’t ever win the “catching leaves” game but it does make me think about making decisions. I try to keep that mental picture of the crazy running around in my mind to remind me that is not what God wants for my life. You can’t catch a leaf that way, just like you can’t make a decision that way. Praying, seeking God’s peace, and trusting the answer He provides will keep you from being whipped around in the wind. Psalms 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” He will instruct you when you are unsure. He will teach you through His Word. He knows the way you should go.

There might be a million leaves blowing around, but His loving eyes never stop watching us. What more could we even ask for? What decisions are you struggling with today?  Turn to God and trust His word. And just so you know, if you are ever at a loss for games just give me a call. I know someone who holds the record for “made up” games. He would love to help you out!


Jill Johnson, a staff member at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, finds spiritual applications in her everyday experiences as a wife, mother, grandmother and Georgian. She is available to speak to your church's women's gatherings. Reach her at