Everyone has, at one point in their lives, played the popular game “Simon Says.”
That is, unless you lived under a rock growing up.
Or your mom faked a litany of medical diagnoses that kept you isolated and fully dependent on her, therefore, you didn’t have the time (or friends) to play the game with.
Have y’all been watching that Hulu show about Gypsy Rose Blanchard?? Because OHMIGOODNESS, WHAT IS LIFE?!
Mostly everyone has, at one point in their lives, played the popular game “Simon Says.”
The game is pretty straightforward, where the all-powerful Simon (or Simonetta, because this is 2019 and #equality) gives commands for the players to follow. However, the command can only be executed if it is first prefaced with those two magical words – “Simon Says.”
Simon Says… jump up in the air!
Simon Says… spin around in a circle!
Simon Says… pat your weave, ladies!
Okay ladies, now let’s get in formation!
Uh oh… Simon didn’t say! (Also, Simon turned into Beyoncé – just go with it).
The game is harmless enough, ending only when there is one player still standing, or if Simon (read: Sasha Fierce) manages to take all of the remaining players out in one fell swoop by telling them to talk, dance and sing (without losing your breath) at the same time.
Game over. It can’t be done.
I found myself to be pretty good at this game. I would wait and listen intently for those two little words, and then I would immediately do whatever was asked of me.
And I thought I could apply this mindset all throughout my life.
But my relationship with God is not a game of Simon Says. And for far too long, I have been treating it like it is.
You see, in the past (read: my whole life) I have fallen victim to what’s commonly known as ‘Analysis Paralysis.’
“A·nal·y·sis pa·ral·y·sis” (nouns, probably): over-thinking a situation so that a decision or action is never taken.
I saw a humorous cartoon about this, where a group of employees are sitting around a conference table and what appears to be their boss, is seated at the head of the table. As the employees are all facing their boss, likely looking for managerial direction, he is found saying —
“Of course we can make fast decisions… once we have considered the 4,872 factors.”
That, ladies and gentlemen, is analysis paralysis. And it’s real.
But as you know that ya girl is a woman of faith, I’d like to take that concept a step further and throw a little Jesus on it.
“Chris·tian a·nal·y·sis pa·ral·y·sis” (words): over-thinking a situation and waiting on the Lord to the point that I won’t move in any direction until I see a sign or hear a word; therefore, resulting in a decision or action never being taken.
I’ve been playing the Godly version of Simon Says all of my life. And I’ll be darned if I didn’t think I was good at it.
God Says… go to that school!
God Says… take that job!
God Says… marry that man!
Now start attending that church!
Uh oh… God didn’t say.
But as I look back on my life and the decisions that were made, I wonder. Was it God telling me to marry my husband? Or did He generously, without finding fault, give me Godly wisdom to decide?
And with that wisdom, I was given the ability to discern that my boo is a man of honor. That he is not only highly intelligent, but has a sense that isn’t as common as it used to be. That he is a man that not only prays for me, but with me and over me. And that not a single day has gone by, since I’ve been with him, that I haven’t laughed and been told ‘I love you.’
Simply put, he’s a dime + 99.
The Old Testament is filled with “God Says” laws and commands, ranging from ‘thou shalt not murder’ (which, IMHO, is still a good one to follow) to presenting a burnt offering, of specific animals, to the Lord at the beginning of each month.
But within the New Testament, we find that the greatest commandments are to love God with everything we have and love our neighbors as ourselves.
So here’s what I think.
If I’m striving to follow the commands that I know He has called me to do, I believe He gives me freedom in my choices.
Furthermore, who am I to think that God can’t use me and make good out of any decision I make? Or if I’m walking in the wrong direction, that He can’t pivot me to go the right way? Can He only bless me if I’m in this job or that city?
My blessings are not tied to a particular job, neighborhood, church, car or anything. Instead, they are tied to me being His – a co-heir with Christ and daughter of the Creator of the Universe.
And wouldn’t you know it. I’m His anywhere that I am.
So if you, too, have been playing the Godly game of “Simon Says” and suffer from the all too real ‘Christian Analysis Paralysis’, do this with me.
Use that wisdom that God gives you. Think you don’t have enough? Ask for more.
Stay in prayer. Make it known that you want your decision to honor God.
Say Amen. Then start moving those feet.