Big Decisions

One of our members found out he lost a major customer the past week, meaning he’ll lose some significant income. Suddenly, he had a lot of time in his schedule, which naturally prompted big questions that could lead to some big decisions.

For most of us, the biggest question would be, “How do I replace that income?” But for him, that’s not the pressure he’s feeling right now. Instead, he’s seeing this as an opportunity to revisit some important questions.

The biggest questions were: “Is this what I should be doing? Is this really what I’m passionate about?”

Asking framing questions helps us see the spiritual significance of every decision. When we look for God’s direction in our lives when making small decisions, we are more practiced at seeing when we face the big ones.

Asking Big Questions

Sometimes, we can ask these questions on our own time, but more often, they are forced on us because of something outside of our control. Using the framing questions can help us be ready for these unexpected moments and help us when they do come.

One of the other members related a similar experience in his life. He concluded that “it was more risky to stay in that job than it was to leave it.“ That conclusion started him on a 90-day process of seeking God‘s direction.

Early on, he felt that God was asking him to “lean into the body,” meaning he should include as many Christ-followers in this process as he could. He was right at the end of that time when God led him to what was next. “God was faithful, but he was not quick,” he said.

Expecting Answers

We all come from a church tradition that is pretty cautious about what we claim to hear from God. But that means those situations where God does speak to us in a very personal way become that much more powerful.

It’s one thing to go through our daily lives wanting to hear from God. But when a lot seems to be riding on a big decision, we start looking for something more definitive.

So, we spent some time talking about how to do that, and the insight shared by the group gave some insight into our framing questions as well.

One member shared a simple prayer that he uses when coming to God with these decisions: “God, I’m trusting this is from you. I believe you are powerful enough to make yourself heard.”

The member who had been on the 90 discernment journey told us about his approach. “I met with as many people as he could, and when we were wrapping up, I would always ask them these questions:

  1. Who came to mind that you think I should meet with?
  2. What came to mind that you want to say but didn’t?”

The Right Questions

We can develop the skill of asking good questions. My friend’s questions were open-ended and echoed our framing questions.

Meeting with others was his way of leveraging where he was included. His place at his job was in question, so he relied on his place in the family of God, which was secure.

Asking if anyone or anything came to mind is a way of helping others notice. We often have these thoughts but disregard them. But if someone asks us specifically to share, it’s an invitation to revisit things we’ve noticed but didn’t give much weight to.

God spoke to him through many of those conversations, and when the right opportunity came along, he saw it.

Big Decisions

We face many decisions every day, but some seem to carry more weight than others. Maybe a small decision in the past led to losing that customer, or maybe it was something he couldn’t foresee or control.

We would expect losing a significant source of income to create a sense of crisis. So when that didn’t happen, our friend paid attention (noticed).

This raised the question, “Is this really where I want to be?” In other words, is this where God created me to belong (included)?

In our group, he had a place where he was included, and we could help him pay attention to what God wanted him to notice.