Flying by the seat of your pants

“Flying by the seat of your pants”

You’ve heard that phrase, and probably used it many times. It’s the idea that someone doesn’t really have a plan, they just kind of respond to each new situation. Flying by the seat of your pants isn’t generally a positive thing.

“Making decisions on the fly” has a slightly more positive ring to it. It’s the idea that you have to be nimble enough to respond to new information as it comes, recognizing that you may need to pivot quickly.

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell had a 40-70 rule of thumb on decision-making that said when faced with tough decisions, one should have no less than 40% of the information, and no more than 70% of the information necessary to make the decision.

In COVID times, we’re all having to make decisions on the fly without feeling we have ALL the necessary information, and for some this invokes significant fear. Fears, whether large or small, founded or unfounded, can have a paralyzing effect on us, and learning to live with, and deal with fear is part of the Christian journey.

But because none of you struggle with fear, consider this go-to list of five “for a friend”!!

  1. Psalm 56: 3-4. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you…. what can mere mortals do to me?” King David wrote this under life-threatening pressure and it reminds me that no matter how difficult things get, I need to keep coming back to God.
  2. Psalm 46: 1-2 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way…” At times during this pandemic, it has felt like the earth is giving way. When your world crashes around you and fear starts to take over, remind yourself that God is ever-present.
  3. Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you…” WITH is one of the most important words in the Bible. Wherever you go, whatever difficulties you face, Someone is WITH you. You are never alone.
  4. Matthew 6:34 “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Jesus’ statement from his most famous sermon reminds me that life in His Kingdom is to be lived in 24-hour packages. Rather than trying to boil the ocean in a single day (something I keep failing at by the way), I need to simply rest in this 24-hour period.
  5. John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives.” Jesus was speaking with his inner crew about a supernatural gift they were going to receive. It was a type of peace, which would be experienced through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is mission critical in dealing with our fears.

Lakesiders, you are loved, and you are not alone! Join us next Sunday, Aug. 23 when we welcome back Teaching Pastor Marc Gagnon to continue the series Clash of Kings.

Jeff Groenewald
Executive Pastor, Lakeside Church

Categories: Monday Five