Decisions always need to be made

Every choice is a renunciation. Indeed. Every choice is a thousand renunciations. To choose one thing is to turn one’s back on many others.
— Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality

Brothers & Sisters,

How many decisions do you think humans make on a daily basis? Hundreds right? Many without thinking but some require much more thought, questioning, and preparation. On this, I think we can agree. How many renunciations do you think someone makes on a daily basis? For each decision made how many other paths aren't taken? I've been thinking about this for months and months, ever since I read Ronald Rohleiser's book: The Holy Longing.

If every decision is, in fact, a thousand renunciations, then do we absolutely need to be sure about every single decision we make? What if we did? What if there was no going back from decisions we made? What if everytime we made a decision a thousand renunciations just turned to dust? Would we be more careful with every decision we made at that point then? We probably wouldn't be able to get out of our own way at that point right? We'd get stuck somewhere between progress and regress. I think it's important to understand the decisions we need to make that aren't innate (perhaps we should appreciate natural things more as well, but we'll save that for another time). You might argue that we do in fact understand the paths we choose but what if we only ever scratch the surface? Should we actually take a deep dive into every single choice? Perhaps not but I do believe we could take more care in the majority of the choices we make at the intersections of our lives.

The evaporation of options after we make a decision is a real thing. And while I wouldn't say we can never go back on things we decide I would argue that if we choose to go back on a choice, we'll find quite a few closed doors. I often wonder how many of us think about the decision we didn't make after we've chosen a new door to open. I don't think dwelling on things is a benefit especially 'what could have been' but perhaps a few quick thoughts and some possible learning for the next time might be worth it?

Intersections are everywhere. For every right-hand turn, we make there are three other directions we just decided to not go in. Choices are weighty and should be treated as such.


Photo by Alex Kalinin on Unsplash