Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, June, 2014

posted May 29, 2014, 6:42 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated May 29, 2014, 6:42 PM ]

Taking a Longer View

    Long time baseball manager Casey Stengel is credited with numerous curious sayings. Such things as, “All right now, everyone line up alphabetically according to your height,” and “There's three things that can happen in a ball game: you can win, you can lose, or it can rain.” Another time he opined, “The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the ones who are undecided.”

    Once again Casey supposedly said, "I've made up my mind, but I made it up both ways." Decision making doesn't always come easily. How confident are you in your decisions?

    There's a story from years ago, about a family from the city who bought a cattle ranch and moved to wide-open country. After a month, some friends came by to visit this family in their new ranch house. “What did you decide to name your ranch?” one of the friends inquired.

    “Well,” the husband replied, “I wanted to call it the Flying W and my wife wanted to name it the Suzy Q, but one of our sons liked the Diamond J and the other preferred the Lazy Y. So we finally decided to compromise and call it the Flying W/Suzy Q/Diamond J/Lazy Y”.

    “That's interesting,” said the visitor. “And, by the way, where are your cattle?” “None of them have survived the branding,” said the rancher.

    Poor choices often have bad consequences, and frightening things can happen when we can't make thoughtful, decisive decisions. Have you ever been told to use your head? Consider what may happen when one acts impulsively. Haste can make waste. Most of us have done something hastily that we've regretted later. One can be like a “40 million dollar airport with a $20 control tower,” as they say. Perhaps we should pray for wisdom like Solomon's.

    We may want black and white, but see only fifty shades of gray and no option that looks all that good. No clear choice may be evident. So what do you do when you're decidedly undecided? Or when you're struggling with a decision and you've made your mind up both ways?

    Maybe you've heard of the Rocking Chair Test. It's designed to help a person work through an impasse to a point where better decisions can be made. This is how it works.

    Imagine yourself as an older, mature person. You are relaxing in a rocking chair reflecting on the decision you presently want to make. As an “older, wiser you,” think about the ultimate outcome of your choice, and ask yourself these three simple questions.

    1. Will it cause harm?  2. Will it bring about good?  3. How will it shape the person I become?

    The Rocking Chair Test helps you to take a long view of your options. After imagining your answers to those questions, you should see more clearly which way to go. You may be amazed at how quickly you make better decisions just by asking those three pertinent questions.


George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries