Decisions: What's Good and What's Best, God, Life, Uncategorized

Decisions: What’s Good and What’s Best

Blue Mesa Reflections

By Jeanne Takenaka

We always have to  decide if something is the good or the best for us.

I first learned this lesson as a single-twenty-something wanting desperately to have someone to walk through life with. I’d dated a few guys, but all left me thirsting for more.

More depth.

More care.

For someone who loved God fervently and who cherished me.

I know. It sounds self-centered. God placed within me—perhaps within every woman—the desire to be cherished. If I was talking of little girls, I would say with a desire to feel like a princess.

Trees on ridgeline

I realized there were plenty of good guys I could date and get to know. But there was only one best guy for me. When I met him, I sensed it.

As our friendship began, I worked with the high school youth group, attended Bible study, helped with the two and three year olds on Sunday mornings. And helped lead worship at a fledgling little church in the middle of the woods. There was something special about being involved in the lives of so many others.

As my relationship with my future husband deepened, God showed me I needed to let some of these ministries go if I wanted to learn how to love well. One by one, I stepped out of each of these commitments as God directed.

7-4 Dandelion

Ed and watermelon

I said no to the good so I could have God’s best for me.

As my honey and I have walked through life together, we’ve said no to a number good things. It was hard. Especially after I’d been involved in them for years. At times, I’ve felt like I was saying no to something that was a part of my identity.

But my identity isn’t wrapped up in the things I do, it’s defined by Whose I am. 

Fishing rod sail boat

Peter looking for fish copy

I’ve had seasons of stepping back, leaning in close to the Lord. Seasons where He reminded me His best wasn’t in all the activity, the busy-ness, the serving.

Sometimes God’s best is found in being still before Him.

Saying no to the good things gives freedom to say yes to His best. When I’m overcommitted, I don’t have time to say yes to one more thing.

When I’ve filtered each preceding “yes”  or “no” through God, it’s easier to say “yes” when He brings His best across my path.

Dad son resting up

When I can be involved in His best for me, I’m in a happy place in my spirit. I’m communing with Him on an intimate level.

Saying no to the good opens me up to walk in His best for me. And that’s just where I want to be.

What about you? When have you said no to something and had an even better opportunity open up for you? How do you determine the difference between good and best?

 

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9 thoughts on “Decisions: What’s Good and What’s Best”

  1. Last year, I had to say no to a mission trip to my beloved Bolivia because an opportunity to attend ACFW was literally dropped in my lap. I was gifted the cost of the hotel, but was waiting on WHERE I was going to get the 600$ for the conference. I stepped out in faith and cancelled my spot on the team, and then?
    Umm, Lord? I need 600$.
    I’d just gotten home from a ridiculously epic trip and there was NO WAY I had the money for ACFW.
    Lord?
    Our boys normally get a rebate of fundraised money from their hockey teams. Whatever money is left over at the end of the season is divided among the families and a cheque is sent to the parents. Normally, this amount is 50-110$ . Never EVER more than 150$. EVER. Not in the 14 years we’d been involved in hockey.

    Last year’s rebate? 590$

    14$ shy of the money I needed (exchange rates, dontcha know.)

    I paid the airfare with a bit of cash and mostly points.

    ACFW 2013 cost me 189$. Including flights and hotel.

    God is SOOOO good!!!!

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    1. I love this story of seeing God give you His best last fall, Jennifer! Of course, it was even more exciting because I got to meet you face to face. 🙂 I’m so glad you stopped by to share!

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  2. This is such an important concept, Jeanne! I can’t think of one off of the top of my head, but I know that it has happened in my life several times. It is always difficult to turn something good down, but God often has something so much better. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. You’re right, Michelle. It IS difficult to turn a good thing down. But, when we have a sense of God’s promptings in that decision, He has a way of doing something unexpected, doesn’t He? I’m so glad you stopped by!

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  3. The past few years have been trying enough to make me feel like I’m permanently placed at the wrong end of God’s Bowling Alley. Decisions have not mattered much lately, except to face that tomorrow’s gonna hurt worse, and there is nothing I can do about it.

    But no, all He was trying to say was that it’s not about me. My story’s irrelevant – but my responsibilities to others are not, and I’m expected to attend to them, pain or not, bleeding or not. If I pass out, I’;m expected to rise again, and get back to work.

    His work.

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    1. Andrew, though it may not feel like it, your story is NOT irrelevant. You encourage and strengthen others with your words and your honesty. I wish I could ease the pain in some way, but the best thing I know to do is to pray. And send a virtual hug.

      You are a man of honor who doesn’t give in to the pain. So, though you don’t see it, God’s made your story relevant. To your wife, your “babies,” and to many others. Praying for you tonight.

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      1. Jeanne, thanks. Your kind words are a balm, and came at just the right time.

        I was recently told that everyone around me – including the dogs – would be better off if I would just let go and die, so they could move on. Hearing something like that – from someone I have respected for years – was quite a kick in the face. One does not recover quickly, and I’m sure that there are those who might not recover at all,, from a comment like that.

        Quitting doesn’t work for me, though. That wasn’t on the curriculum at Scout/Sniper, so I assume it’s not a needed skill.

        Or shall I say – an irrelevant one. 🙂

        Thanks, my friend.

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      2. I wanted to respond to this sooner, but I couldn’t as internet was sketchy where we were this week. I am sorry you were told those words. That must have pierced deep.

        You made me smile with your quip about quitting not being a needed skill. 🙂 I’m glad it’s not in your skill set. God knows the number of your days. He’ll help you to live them out well.

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  4. One thing I know, Andrew, from this blog site is that you are relevant. You have touched many hearts with your courage and fortitude. One day I’ll be delighted to meet you in heaven where Jesus will introduce us face to face. I’ll give you a hug then for the inspiration you are to me today.

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