I recently made a decision. I had been perseverating upon a question for quite a while. It seemed that with each passing day there was supporting evidence for both sides of this decision. There was no clarity, no overwhelming instinct, premonition or leaning one way or the other. One moment I was convinced that this way was the right answer. Just to have a valid argument presented, by the other way, in the following moment.
This wasn’t one of those decisions that had to be decided right now. It wasn’t time sensitive. It wasn’t life or death. It was merely one of those nagging questions that kept creeping back into my reality. Oh, and of course there was the ever-present factor, of my simple desire, that kept rearing its ugly head. See, the decision involved something that I wanted, not something that I needed. Thus, the struggle. Do I decide for what I want or do I decide for what I need?
The best way that I can describe how I feel when I find myself in one of these in-between times, trying to decide, is incomplete. Incomplete means “not having all the necessary or appropriate parts”. When I am undecided, I do not have all of my necessary or appropriate parts. It is this feeling of incompleteness that I struggle with, as opposed to the actual decision itself. I just want my feeling of incompleteness to be gone.
My desire to avoid feeling incomplete has led me into some bad decisions. Decisions that were not made based on reason, logic or leading. I was willing to risk it, even if my desire to avoid feeling incomplete meant that I would make a bad decision. For me, it was always better to avoid feeling incomplete now and deal with the consequences later.
The immediate gratification that I experienced at the throne of completeness was my motivation. So much so that it even influenced my relationship with God. As opposed to my relationship with God influencing my need for completeness. Knowing and understanding that my need for completeness would sometimes lead me down the wrong path, I would approach God like this: “God, here I go. Stop me if I am wrong.” Needless to say, this approach didn’t always work out the best. And, too many times to recount, it actually left me incomplete, as opposed to simply feeling incomplete.
The desire to be complete is not wrong, misguided or even sinful. God desires for all of us to be complete. In fact, complete is the perfection that all of us are seeking in this life. The problem that we have had (and have) is balancing our desire to feel complete with our need to follow God’s leading, in order to truly be complete. The former puts us in the all-to-familiar position of dictating to God what we will be doing. The latter leans into God and allows him to lead, guide and direct. The former gives us immediate gratification, but often leaves us out there, totally exposed to bad consequences. The former takes longer and requires patience and faith, but never leaves us out there, totally exposed to bad consequences.