Choosing Among Goods

I don’t mean by the title, choosing which product to buy (although when I first moved back to the US after two years of living in Nepal, India and Thailand, I found that to be no easy task). Rather, I’m talking about making choices for where we devote our energy, choosing among options that are good.

If we are on a spiritual path, our choice for where to devote our energies is generally not between a good and a bad choice. If we are praying people, we are not sitting contemplating, “Hmm. Rob a bank or spend time visiting a sick relative.”

Choosing among goods is not always easy since each choice seems worthwhile and good. One danger is that we simply don’t choose, thinking we can do everything. We fail to realize that we have a limited amount of time and of energy and so we simply can’t do it all. We fall into the trap of thinking we have to try to do everything we have the capacity to do if it is a good thing. The problem with that approach is one many of us are familiar with – emotional drain and frustration.

The other problem, and one that arises when we are discerning about major options for how to devote our energies is that we agonize over our decisions. The reality is that few choices among good options are matters of life and death and neither choice would be a bad choice. Yet we can make ourselves crazy in the discernment process.

Both of these situations require some faith and trust in God. Trust that if I invite God into my discernment process, clarity about how I should use my energies will arise. It requires remembering that God is the driver not me, that this is God’s plan I’m fulfilling, not my own. And that if I keep a prayerful stance, to use Julian’s words, “All will be well.”