Decisions: Life comes down to a constant flow of decisions. Whether you realize it or not you’re making decisions every moment. You decide what you will eat, where you will work, what time you will get up, what values you will follow, what you say to others, how you react to others, et cetera. From the smallest decisions like what items you’ll buy at the grocery store, to the largest decision like choosing to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior — Decisions are the fabric of life. Some people never realize the power of their decisions and drift through life letting others influence their path or decide for them. To truly realize your full potential, you must first examine yourself and understand the power of your decisions. “Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air.” — 1 Corinthians 9:26
The Invisible Hand: With decisions being so important it’s wise to recognize there are forces set to influence your decisions. In modern society, without ceasing, there is a constant assault to influence your decision-making. If you only look at the wave of tv and internet ads, popular personalities, politicians, and activists you will see they all have a similar angle — Think like us, be like us, live like us. Where this has become increasingly more dangerous is that these influential sources have grown so strong that they wield the power to disenfranchise anyone who rejects their way. They stomp upon freedom and force their will upon the masses. These are signs that great change is happening, and one that is not for the better. In Revelation, we know a global change will come about in the end times, i.e. via the mark of the beast. “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.” — Revelation 13:16–18. This is not to predict specific timings of prophecies, but it is simply to point out that global systems and edicts can quickly take effect stripping people of their freedom. A person would be wise to be on the alert for what the future might hold and make the decision to live for the things above. “…Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” — Joshua 24:15
Sculpting A Meaningful Life: To follow a meaningful life you have to decide to let go. When Jesus called Peter and Andrew, He said, “‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” — Matthew 4:19–20. Your life is powered by your decisions. Never think they don’t make an impact. Peter and Andrew could have said no and went on to fish and live a peaceful life…but they didn’t. They let go of their place in society and dedicated themselves to following Jesus. They also went on to become great fishers of men just as Jesus said they would be. But none of this would have happened if they didn’t decide to lay it all down. In your life, you might not be caught up in a consumerist drive, but something else might be influencing your decisions to your detriment. It’s important to recognize what’s holding you back so you can drop it and move forward as Peter and Andrew did. When you let go and trust God you begin to live an exciting life. This life will require you to embrace an uncommon approach as it won’t be popular to turn your back on what the world values. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. ‘For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” — Matthew 7:13–14. The great thing about the Lord our God is that He always gives us the freedom to choose. Unlike the forces of the devil and those of this world, God simply says, the choice is yours. So, when God calls, be ready and choose wisely.
Mission, Tools, Movement: In the military community there is a system, developed by Ex-Navy Seal Richard Machowicz, called the Play For Dynamic Combat. This system has three principles — Target, Weapons, Movement. Here is how Machowicz describes it: “Basically, it’s: Targets dictate the weapons. Weapons dictate movement. As long as you are very clear on what your target is, you don’t even have to think, and weapons will show up. You don’t have to think and the appropriate movement will show up. That way you see the things that matter vs. all the things that don’t. That’s what we’re competing for on a second-by-second basis, especially under stress and pressure. You’re competing with all the information that doesn’t matter vs. the specific information that does. And what happens is most people fixate on the minutiae that don’t matter vs. the one laser point that will drive them to the thing they want to accomplish.” The system Machowicz is describing can be applied to all aspects of life and not only in combat situations as he’s highlighting. For example, instead of Target, Weapons, Movement we could call what we do at Travel the Road — Mission, Tools, Movement. So, when we undertake a journey to a remote region, we have a specific people group that is our mission. The tools we use to get there are planes, cars, boats, trucks, trekking, GPS, et cetera and those tools dictate our movement. As long as our focus is clearly on the mission, the tools and movement will become evident and obvious. We own very little and travel light and fast. Owning a car, home, or other non-essential items isn’t necessary to accomplish our mission. The key is that the mission dictates our tools and movement. Not everyone is the same. We all have a different purpose. But it is important to ask yourself, “Do I have a decisive focus on the mission for my life? Are the tools I am collecting a benefit or a distraction for my mission? If you are honest with yourself, you’ll probably identify a lot of non-essential tools you have gathered along the way. Simplifying your decisions clears up the unknown and makes you more prepared for the path ahead. Life can be challenging enough, don’t make your decisions any harder than they have to be with mental or physical clutter. Be clear and be decisive.