I’ve mentioned before that my personal commitment to writing a spiritually-related Sunday blog post is great motivation for me to stop and acknowledge spirituality as a part of my life.
Spirituality is the one thing I can let slide without immediate consequences. If I don’t help the kids with homework, they don’t learn; if I don’t clean the floors, the playground sand takes over; if I don’t write, I go crazy…and that’s not good for anyone. And if I don’t tap into my spiritual self? I function just fine, until I realize I’m lost.
Lacking inspiration, I read through several entries in my Life’s Simple Guide to God book. In the past, I have read single entries that spoke to me. This week, several entries seemed like they were written for me.
- I read about how our burdens become lighter when we turn them over to God. “If you’re carrying too many burdens – even if they seem to be good and noble – lighten your load.”
- Another entry reminded of the importance of fully trusting God. “When your heart is open, your life is open for a miracle.”
- Finally, I read an inspirational piece urging the replacement of fear with faith. I like the quote they included, by Frederick W. Cropp – “There is much in the world to make us afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid.”
Earlier this week, I took my older son to a Cub Scout orientation meeting because he’s decided he wants to join. As I signed him up, the den leader explained how 5 new boys were signing up and they would likely need to start a new den. I thought, ‘Okay, fine.’ But when he didn’t break eye contact, and continued with, “We need parent volunteers,” I squirmed a bit.
“I can bake cookies or something.” I hoped this would appease him.
Nope. I heard the Jaws music in the back of my mind. I felt trapped.
“We need den leaders,” he said.
“I’m not the leadership type.”
“Neither am I,” the man responded. “At our next meeting, I’ll make a hard press for volunteers to step up.”
I thought that was a hard press.
I can’t come up with a reason why I’m not the leadership type, other than the fact I don’t like it. I’ve managed people, but it’s easier not to.
I can, however, think of other excuses reasons not to volunteer. (1) I don’t have time, (2) I don’t know how to interact with a group of five ten-year-olds, (3) I have zero knowledge of Cub Scout activities (4) I’m afraid.
There it is. The thought of leading a group of kids in anything makes me break out into a cold sweat. Quite a feat considering we’ve had record high heat for several weeks now.
So, I turn this burden over to God. I open my heart and trust him to guide my decision of whether to lead or not to lead. If this challenge is necessary for my growth, then I will accept it. If my load is to be lightened by passing up this request, then that’s how should be. As long as fear isn’t the deciding factor, then I will know faith prevailed.
Is it wrong that I secretly hope that someone else steps up first?
How do you work through dilemmas? Do you follow your head, your heart or both? How does faith factor in? When do you find peace with your choices?
Depends on the dilemma.
If it’s minor (how to spend the day, what to cook for dinner) . . . I pick A or B or C.
If I feel calm after making the decision . . . the decision stands.
If the choice makes me feel agitated (in my gut) . . . I swap the choice for another and repeat the process until I feel “at peace” with the decision.
If it’s major (what to do for the rest of my life) . . . I break it down to what to do right now.
Then, I pick A or B or C.
Does faith enter into it?
Of course. I achieve inner peace through my connection with the spirit within.
Sounds logical, Nancy!
What to do for the rest of our lives is too major of a decision for me to make. I think I’ll stick with what to eat for dinner or what I should wear tomorrow 🙂 I agree that starting with the ‘now’ decisions sets the path for the rest to follow.
Thanks for sharing your thought process.
It is often hard to discern God’s will but as long as I am not the source of someone’s misfortune I do what I have to do. We cannot let ourselves be immobilized by indecision or avoid the dilemma. Resolve as best and fairly as you can for closure. In the meantime praying for God’s guidance most often helps us do the right thing. And we accept that we don’t always pull it off perfectly. If we allow the Holy Spirit to be the source of our actions we have our best shot at anything.
I really like your last sentence, Carl. Letting the Holy Spirit be the source of our actions is the best shot we’ve got.
Faith that I am living up to God’s plan for me will have to be enough to keep me moving. If I misunderstood his plan then I’ll just have to change course.
I try to avoid dilemmas at all cost! I commit to the Lord in prayer, hope to lead with my heart, because that’s where I find peace–my head jumbles things up and thinks it to death. Faith is listening for that small inner voice that will speak truth–this is too much to take on, or this could be a great adventure. Praying you make the right decision for you.
I like to avoid dilemmas too, Patti (along with conflict ;))
I’m much like you, in that I tend to overthink things and complicate them more than I need to. I’m praying for the inner voice to speak to me.
Thanks for you kind thoughts, Patti.
Ummm? … toss a coin! …. and, it’s good to wish that someone who has a real PASSION for cub scout leading would serendipitously turn up at the next meeting … and volunteer even before you get there!
It may come to that, Widdershins. I’d better find a lucky coin – fast 🙂
I follow my mind and heart, if they are both in agreement, and I am at peace with the decision, (even if involves getting used to the decision or hard work) then I know I made the right decision. One example is when I left NY to live in a semi rural town in Oregon to be with my s/o. I was totally at peace with the decision with relocating, even if took me a year to get used to semi rural living. My life is richer now because of this decision. 🙂
You’re right. When the mind and the heart are in agreement, there is nothing left to make you doubt the decision.
That is quite a change you made – I’m glad you adjusted to your new locale.
Thanks for sharing your decision-making rationale, Sufilight.
I’m a list-maker. I’ll try to break big decisions down into pro and con lists. Then I’ll pray about the decision and go where that “still, small Voice” leads. Some people are experts at making you feel guilty for not assuming more tasks like this — they know when you start to weaken, then race in for the kill. Don’t let ’em bamboozle you, Janna! Only you know what can fit into your schedule and what’s right for you. (But don’t be too quick to say ‘no’, either — after all, won’t it be nice to have this special time with your son, knowing he’s at your house instead of a stranger’s??)
I will do my best to resist guilt and only take it on if I feel it is something I should do. I still don’t know if it is or not. My son actually wanted me to be a leader – he thought it would be cool (and I know in a few short years, that will probably not be the case.)
I’ve done the list-making pros and cons before – most often with job changes. It might be in order here.
Thanks for sharing your advice, Debbie!
Sometimes head.. sometimes heart.. sometimes both..but the key i gues.. is to prayerfully decide and not regret later on.
You’ve got variety in your decision-making, Dorcas!
Regret is the worst, so I do want to avoid that…
Leadership comes in many forms and many expressions. And members have certain expectations of leaders.
Maybe co-leading – sharing the burden with another person would be the answer.
Is your goal is be low key? Then the members need to put forth what experience they want for the group as a whole?
I am a bit selfish, I suppose…my goal is to keep some ‘me’ time. I’ve sacrificed sleep for quite a while, but I’m working on changing that pattern right now. I’m not sure that I want the responsibility of keeping a den running.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Patty.
You must do what is right for you, some people are called to that role and some are not. However, I have some experience with scouts and just wanted to let you know that it’s not as scary as it sounds (and no I’m not from your new pack and trying to recruit you, lol). There are guides that walk you step by step through having a den meeting, you can follow them, merely take ideas from them, or ignore them all together if you feel you have a better way. Our pack has some den leaders that conduct their den meetings exactly by the book, and some that don’t even look at the book to plan their meeting.
Both of my children are in scouting and love it, they have learned a lot, and had a lot of fun. Regardless of whether you decide to be the den leader or not, I hope you and your son enjoy your scouting experience together. You can still be an active parent, even if you aren’t the den leader.
I laughed at the idea of you being a ‘recruiter’ from the new pack. Good one!
You are right – I’m probably making more of it that what it is. I am looking forward to the scouting adventure and am already enjoying the excitement he has. (He’s created ‘Badge Scouts’, which he plays with his younger brother. He gets paper badges when he completes an assigned project.)
Thanks for visiting and sharing your perspective on the scouting experience, Crystal.
That is not a good question to pose to me right now. I’m currently not doing so well working through my dilemmas. However, I am trying to calm down, make my over-acheiving self step back and let God take care of evething. I think that’s the best way.
I like the Spritual Sunday posts. A very inspiring idea.
I’m glad you like the spiritual posts, Miss Rosemary. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could let go before completely overwhelmed? I pray that God will ease your burdens.
(Warning: non-spiritual reply ahead)
Years ago, my mom was a den mother for my brother’s Cub Scout troop. She shared the duties with another woman and they had a great time. Luckily, my mother enjoys crafts and building things, so that was easy enough. She was raising 7 kids at the time, but did not have a job outside the home, so she was able to create her own schedule.
If you are considering leading a troop, insist on having a partner (if nothing else, meetings can still be held if one leader gets sick.) Would your husband be interested in doing this?
Find out how much actual time is spent preparing and engaging in the activites. Ask if you are expected to foot the bill for snacks and materials (this is really important these days!) And even though the new troop will be separate, ask if you and the current leader can team up for activities. Good luck, whatever you decide! -Jen
Timely response, Jen. I’m leaving for the scout meeting in about twenty minutes (I guess I should consider getting off the blog then, right?)
My husband isn’t available during the week because of his work schedule. If I remember correctly, they had leader/co-leaders for the other dens. (I’d prefer to be the co-leader.) They did tell us that each den will charge a fee, to be determined by the den leader. This is a very good point you brought up, because supplies can be expensive.
Thanks for your practical advice, Jen. I appreciate it!
Haha…the hard press…that was funny…er, not to you it wasn’t. I understand that. From the things I have read from you I think you could make a wonderful impact into the lives of so many kids at one time with this opportunity. If it’s God calling you into it, ( And I’m not saying either way) then like all of us, afraid or not.. DO IT ANYWAY!!! He’ll be with you. I can so relate to what you were saying about God’s word, or other writings speaking directly into your life and situation, which from my experience is where the answers lie. He speaks to us through His word, which as you probably know is the difference from the Logos Word, and His Rhema word. As far as the resting in faith instead of cowering from fear, I take great comfort in the fact that Jesus said: Fear Not, 365 times in the Bible…one for each day of my year, as long as I rest in His finished works.
Wait, what’s that sound?
God Bless You
Thanks for the kind words, Sonsothunder.
“Fear not” 365 times in the Bible is a significant number. It says there is lots to fear in the world, but God offers comfort. I like how you’ve tied it to each day of the year.
The Jaws music? Nice touch. Fear not….fear not…fear not…