The Yes-No Dilemma

screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-7-40-10-pmI have a Pinterest board entitled “Good Words” that currently has 816 Pins to it. 816 quotes, Bible verses, and encouraging words that I have loved enough to save. I mean, Pinning something takes barely two clicks of a mouse. But still. Two clicks. I have read all 816 of those Pins and each one of them means something to me. Today, I will tell you about two of them. Charles Spurgeon once said, “To trust God in the light is nothing, but trust him in the dark- that is faith.” This is something that I have had to learn and continue to learn each day. The second quote relates to the topic that I wrote a speech on last year for Original Oratory. It says, “You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no.”

As many people know, I am a Christian. I love God, am saved by Jesus Christ, and walk through each day knowing that He is by my side for every step. However, just like everyone else, I have bad days. Hard days. Dark days. Days where the rain pours and I wonder when I’ll see the sun again. Now, here’s the thing. It’s easy to proclaim that you are a Christian when everything around you is perfect. It takes faith to continue trusting in Him when you are surrounded by complete darkness. It’s easy to say that you trust in Him when your path is clear and effortless to walk on. It takes faith to trust that He is still with you when your path is rocky and full of puddles. I love this quote because it is a challenging one to accept. It is a reminder to me to continue to walk by faith, not by sight. To give a “yes” to God. The second quote is also a challenging one. I tend to say yes to a lot of different things. Part of my inclination to say yes is because I don’t like letting people down. Volunteering, helping out, and being a leader involves many “yesses.” Over the past year, I have come to the realization that it really is about quality, not quantity. This truth applies to friends, shoes, and schedules. Like I said in last year’s Original Oratory speech, “So, what is the problem with always saying yes? Do you want it in one word? STRESS. By saying, “Yes, I’ll be there! Yes, I’ll finish that! Yes, sure, whatever you need!”, we are really saying yes to stress. Teenagers and adults are filling up their schedules so much that the little gaps they have left in their day are just filled with stressing out about the next appointment, the next meeting, the next deadline…” We think that it is always better to say yes, when that is just not the case. “Saying no is going to allow you to say yes to other things.” You should never feel guilty for prioritizing your schedule. As far as I see it, saying “no” is courageous.

Humans have a very hard time giving up control in situations. For some reason, we want to have everything figured out perfectly at all times. We want to understand every single detail and have no more questions floating around in our heads. Along with the rest of the world, I am guilty of this. I like to try to understand all things, even when the Creator of the Universe has already beat me to it. God probably laughs a little at my constant human striving. I believe that He lets us walk through the hard times to see how we will respond. Will we trust Him or freak out? Will we remember all of the good that He has promised or forget about it all in the blink of an eye? The Christians of this world would have a much more convincing argument behind their faith if they seriously lived by it no matter their circumstances. Humans also have a very hard time with time management and organization. We tend to fill up our schedules to the brim and then wonder why we’re so tired all of the time. We think the world might end if we don’t join every team, club, and group. Parents want their kids involved in everything so they can grow into ultra-successful human beings. But here’s the thing: While you’re striving for success, keep in mind that the present moment is all that you’re guaranteed. If the whole world were reminded of this, I know we’d have less stress and more joy in our lives. I don’t know about you, but I want to be a good person with a kind heart who still says no, while remembering to trust God even in the dark times. Just as I was encouraged by these two quotes, I hope you are encouraged to keep going. Go forward with less “yesses” but with intentional ones. Say “no” more often. And when the light goes out, remember that God is always right by your side.

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