Pass, Punt or Run?

On Sunday, one of my favorite preachers talked about the wisdom of listening. His point: it is tricky to make good decisions in emotional moments. Wise people pause and seek counsel before deciding or doing something. That message hung around me most of the day. In an emotional situation, call a time out to get several opinions. Solomon, the wisest man ever, wrote several Proverbs about that.

I am not a Super Bowl fan. I watched it last night. The rest of the evening and the Monday morning news was all about the wrong call—the decision to pass was the wrong choice. It is discerned to be wrong because the pass was intercepted. Had the receiver caught the ball and stepped into the end zone, would the decision to pass have been the right decision? Was it wrong because it didn’t work out? Pragmatic thinking is based on whether things work out right.

The highly paid decision makers huddled and decided to pass. What were they thinking?!! They had a running back the size of a locomotive they could have handed the ball! Let him blast his way through the defense—an assembly of flesh the size of the Great Wall.

It sure didn’t make sense to me—until someone asked one of the sideline decision makers the reason for their decision. There were logical reasons based on non-emotional facts. They were looking beyond the immediate play to time left, downs left. How can you ever factor in a magic moment? There are no Xs or Os for a miraculous interception any more than for an acrobatic catch after the football bounced off the receiver like a pin ball several plays earlier.

A friend of mine asked for a guarantee today before making a decision. She was asking for impossibility. Any time there are other people involved, possibilities of guarantees are gone.

The only way that works is if you announce, “We’ve decided to pass. You have to stand still and make no decisions on your side of the field.” I like viables and options only if I get to make all the rules.

I asked a wealthy relative how he decided when and how and what to invest in. Surely he had some kind of formula. He looked at me like I was speaking in tongues. Perhaps he heard the emotional question: How do I make decisions with almost no risk and a ton of guarantees?

Had Seattle asked several more opinions, no one would have believed the guy who said, “There is a small guy who will push our receiver out of the way and catch the ball.”

Yea, right. What are the chances of that?

Get all the advice and opinions available, weigh it carefully—ask for a second time-out and then go with what you consider the best option.

Dare we talk about revelation, word of knowledge, prophetic word, Holy Spirit nudging?

Even without guarantees, learning how to make decisions is among the top 2-3 most important things to learn. I’ve decided to send this without a second opinion. We’ll see how that works out.

©2015 D. Dean Benton   Other resources on my Facebook page.

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