While in the UK, I got to read a lot–one of the perks of spending much time on public transportation. One of the books I read was Belief, edited by well-known scientist Francis Collins; and one of the excerpts is from Martin Luther King, Jr. In a sermon about having a tough mind and a tender heart, he said this:
[The tough-minded individual is] characterized by incisive thinking, realistic appraisal, and decisive judgment. The tough mind is sharp and penetrating, breaking through the crust of legends and myths and sifting the true from the false. The tough-minded individual is astute and discerning. He has a strong, austere quality that makes for firmness of purpose and solidness of commitment. (184)
It was that last phrase—“firmness of purpose and solidness of commitment”—that stirred me. Whether because I’m a Third Culture Kid or because I come from a middle class Chinese family or for whatever other reason, my approach to making decisions has always involved more bet-hedging and playing it safe, waiting until the dust has settled before striking out, holding out until I know things will work out.
And it struck me that God wants more than that. God wants more than playing it safe. Being responsible doesn’t equate with playing it safe. Making wise decisions doesn’t always mean going where things are guaranteed. Following God doesn’t always entail knowing how I’ll be taken care of, only that I’ll be taken care of.
So I’m trying to make my decisions based on who I want to become–who I believe God created me to be–rather than just who I’ve always been or what’s safe.
In case you’re wondering, yes, this is related to life decisions that I’ve been making the last few weeks. Which I’ll write about soon. 🙂