When Reggie first passed, busyness wasn’t my problem. Having left my corporate job six months prior for full-time ministry, my days were my own. Truth be told, I struggled with the transition.
Specifically, I struggled with the lack of structure. I knew God called me to write, but I wasn’t sure about what to write. This lack of clarity left me with big gaps in my day. I’d just left a job with a lot of structure where I regularly completed projects. The lack of structure left me feeling unproductive and uncertain as to how to fill my day.I begin each day with God. Click To Tweet
But not how to start it. The gap was in the middle of my day—the work portion—not the beginning. I didn’t struggle with how to start my day for one specific reason. In the mornings, I continued doing what I did before the transition—I began each day with God. And without the need to rush to a meeting or finish a project, I found myself spending whole days with Him.
It was great at first. Each day, Reggie would come home and ask me how my day was. I initially responded, “Oh, it was wonderful. I spent the whole day with God.” But when days became weeks, I began to feel some self-imposed pressure, which was reflected in my response, “Oh, I’ve been bad. I spent the whole day with God.”
Reggie chuckled and replied,
“You don’t know what to write about. So, of course, you’re spending time with God. How else will you know what to write about—or what to do next for that matter—if God doesn’t tell you.”
Reggie’s wisdom reminded me of the importance of something crucial to any new beginning, especially creating a new life: Always start with God. For me, it’s the first step in the best decision-making process for creating new lives. Read on to learn more about the first and the second.
Always Start with God
Always, always, always start with God. Did I say always?
I can’t stress this enough. There are lines we should never cross, and for me, always starting with God is one of those lines. Why? Because I know I will be successful if God is in it and I believe in starting out the way I want to end up. Since I want to end up successful, my plan is to always start out with God.
I know I will be successful if God is in it and I believe in starting out the way I want to end up. Since I want to end up successful, my plan is to always start out with God.
Not to mention, that is how the Garden of Eden started (Genesis 2:8), humanity started (1:26, 2:15), and all of Creation started (1:1). So, yeah, for me, always starting with God is a line I try never to cross.
That brings us to our first guideline for today:
Guideline 12: Always start with God.
Part 4 of Choosing Wisely
Speaking of the Garden of Eden, humanity, and all of Creation, several weeks ago, we began a series on decision making when creating our new lives using Genesis 2:15-17, which contains the first choice God gave to humanity, the choice of selecting our food. Looking at humanity’s first choice, we can glean guidelines for making other life choices.
Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." ~ Genesis 2:15-17
Since God commanded Adam to choose of the trees located in the Garden of Eden, we began a deep dive into the garden. As we dug into the garden, we learned the garden was an enclosed area of cultivated plants. At that time, we delved deeper into the nature of the cultivated plants in the garden. Today, we take a deeper look at the area being enclosed.
Pay Attention to The First Boundary
As I said above, a line I try never to cross is always starting with God. A line that shouldn’t be crossed is a boundary—a limit put on an activity. An enclosure or enclosed area is a place surrounded by boundaries—limits put on the activities that take place in that area.
As an enclosed area, the Garden of Eden was the first boundary placed on humanity. Often when discussing boundaries and the garden, the focus is on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We’ll be focusing on that too—just later. As the first boundary, I want to talk about the boundary surrounding the garden first.
The Garden of Eden was the first boundary placed on humanity.
You see, not all choices are life-or-death choices—good or bad. In fact, most of the choices we make are between better and worse. Some are even between better and best. That is the choice of the first boundary of the garden—the choice between better and best.
In creating the heavens and the earth, God created homes for all the living creatures. For marine life, He made the seas (Genesis 1:20-22). For the birds, God made the sky. And for the beasts, He made the fields (Genesis 1:24-25). Then, for humanity, God made the garden—a habitat, full of the best things for fueling their lives.Choosing between better and best can be difficult, but the difference can greatly impact the quality of the life we are creating and how quickly we create it. Click To Tweet
God designed each of these spaces to be places where the creatures it was designed for could reach their fullest potential. For instance, the sky was a place where birds could soar to the highest heights, the seas were places where fish could swim in the deepest depths, and the fields were places where the animals could run the fastest speeds.
Upon completing the heavens and the earth, God gave humanity dominion over the whole earth (Genesis 1:28). Basically, there wasn’t anywhere mankind couldn’t go. Remember the limit was on what they should eat, not where they should go. Since there are edible plants in most places, most likely, humanity could’ve found food outside the garden. It just wouldn’t have been the best option.
Choose the Best Option
Now, in my experience, choosing between life and death is pretty straightforward. In my experience, when presented with the truth and knowing all the facts, most—if not all—of us would choose life. Hands down.
No, choosing between better and best is far more difficult. The tipping points are generally more subtle, less easily recognized—as is the case with the first boundary being the garden—and as a result, more often missed.
These differences though more subtle can have vast impacts on our outcomes—creating new lives. Specifically, these differences can greatly impact the quality of the life we are creating and how quickly we create it.
Often the problem is we aren’t or weren’t making the best choices—and we’re missing opportunities as a result. We’re missing out on reaching our fullest potential.
It impacts the quality and pace because it wasn’t a life-or-death decision. You’re alive, just not living your best life. Though your environment supports it, you haven’t reached your full potential. It isn’t because God isn’t a provider. He is. Often the problem is we aren’t or weren’t making the best choices—and we’re missing opportunities as a result. We’re missing out on reaching our fullest potential.
That problem may have brought you here today, but it isn’t the insight I want you to take with you. The insight I want you to take with you is Guideline #13:
Guideline 13: Choose the Best Option.
And practical steps on how to choose the best option are presented throughout this series—in this post, earlier posts, and the posts to come. To check them all out, see the links below. To get future posts as they come out, subscribe to my email list below.
The “Choosing Wisely” Series:
- Part 1a – Choosing Wisely
- Part 1b – Getting to the Root
- Part 1c – Fueling Your New Life
- Part 2 – A Habitat for Humanity
- Part 3 – The Order of Rest
- Part 4 – The Right Conditions for Rest
- Part 5 – What’s the Best Decision-Making Process for Creating New Lives?
- Part 6 – Five Freedoms When Creating a New Life
- Part 7 – The Risks of Giving Into Temptation
- Part 8 – How Knowledge Plays in Decision Making
- Part 9 – How Morality Applies to Decision Making
- Part 10 – Biblical Concepts of Time When Making Decisions
- Part 11 – Some Certainties We Have in This Life
- Part 12 – How Will Your Relationship End?
COMPLETE LIST OF GUIDELINES
Guideline #1: Choose activities that align with our assignments.
Guideline #1a: The availability of activities that align with our new lives depends on the level of effort we put into completing our assignments.
Guideline #2: Choose activities that support our assignments.
Guideline #3: Choose activities that provide what our lives and assignments need to live, grow, and stay healthy so that we can produce the best fruit.
Guideline #3a: Choose activities that balance the things related to our assignments that we want to do with the things related to our assignments that we need to do.
Guideline #4: During seasons of plenty, choose activities that for seasons of scarcity by storing excess resources.
Guideline #5: Choose activities that are fueled or empowered by the Son.
Guideline #5a: Choose activities that are fueled by clean energy—energy that doesn’t pollute the environment and has a positive impact on the environment by counteracting the pollution produced by “dirty energy.”
Guideline #5b: Engage in activities that are fueled by renewable energy—energy that is never depleted or is constantly replenished.
Guideline #5c: Choose activities that are fueled by universal energy—energy that is accessible anywhere.
Guideline 6: Choose activities that worship and serve the Lord.
Guideline 7: Choose activities that obey the Lord’s commands.
Guideline 8: Choose activities that are enjoyable and satisfying.
Guideline 9: Choose to complete activities in order.
Guideline 10: Choose to rest before beginning your assignments.
Guideline 11: Choose to rest your new life on a solid, unchanging foundation.
Guideline 12: Always start with God.
Guideline 13: Choose the best option.