From the soft water systems that save pipes, to the home security equipment packages that save lives, to move-in specials from the local digital cable company that save money, my husband and I have heard it all. The sales presentation that took the cake, however, was this guy offering a pest control service that, according to him, we absolutely had to invest in. Based on his statistics and termite infestation data, “our very region was forecasted to have a massive termite invasion within the next several months and we had better protect our home now or regret it immensely later.” This guy was serious! We politely told him that we’d look over the information, consider our options, and make a decision later. He was not a fan. He needed an answer “now.” What he did not know is that the idea that “it had to happen now” had become a cue for us to pause! Experience had led us to make a commitment that we will not make a hasty decision if we can at all help it.
If this guy wanted an answer “now,” the answer was a certain, “No, thank you.”
Hasty decisions can lead to buyer’s remorse, time commitment regrets, and the need to recant statements. Communicating a “yes” and then later realizing it should have been a “no” or vice versa can happen less often when we pause—placing some needed space between an offer and a response, between a question and an answer, between an opportunity and a move in either direction. This time should be used to ponder, process, and pray. This pause may involve a good meal, some Godly counsel, sleep, a peek at your budget, or even some type of recreation. Thinking before we respond, processing the details of what is being asked, and praying for guidance can save us from our impulsive tendencies.
“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
What if it’s a small, neutral, non-moral issue? Is it that serious? Great question. I get it. I am not saying we fast and pray 40 days and 40 nights before ever placing one foot in front of the other. What this passage is saying is we are wise to consider God’s point of view on each step we take. Depending on the type of matter at hand or even the practical factors involved, a literal prostrate position before the Lord may not be necessary.
Sometimes I pause long enough to consider the following:
Will this move bring me closer to God or pull me out of His will? Do I need to spend my time, skills, and money in this way? What happened the last time I made a hasty decision? And my favorite question yet: “Is this likely to end well?”
Don’t let an assertive sales guy or anyone else, including yourself, convince you that you must “act now!” The gift of pause is precious. You see, when we make pondering, processing, and praying a daily and persistent way of living, we realize we are, at any given moment, only a thought and breath away from communicating with the one true God.
And that will indeed end well!
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