I was putting some dirty dishes into the dish washer this evening and all I could think to myself while I was doing it was "I hope the few dishes in the washer now are dirty." Because if they were clean then Erin would come home and ask "Why did you put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher?" with that gently curious, yet slightly accusatory tone. You know, the one which says, "What were you thinking‽"
While I was thinking about this I also realized just how easy it is to question yourself into stagnation. I could easily have thrown up my hands and decided to just leave the dishes alone. I'll ask Erin later or, better yet, simply let her take care of it.
I'm finding that people are so worried about offending someone that they quickly decide not to do anything. Instead of telling Erin that she's irritated me (this is simply an example, she hasn't ever irritated me of course) I would let it go and ignore the problem. Of course, it will just irritate me more the next time.
This certainly spills over into my church life.
When planning our WATCH program where I'm co-teaching a bible study to teens, I continue to say "whatever you'd prefer" to the person I'm teaching with. I'm trying to let her really make her own decisions and make the experience her own.
Beyond those platitudes though, the reality is that I'm also trying to make her happy. I'm trying to let the co-leader make the decisions so that I don't need to. It's always easier to blame the decision maker, and I sure don't want that person to be me.
Those who know me though, know that isn't entirely true. I will accept blame even when it isn't my fault. I also feel quite free with almost anyone at church to tell them what I'm thinking when asked.
My point though, is that it's very easy to stop making decisions for fear of upsetting someone impacted by the decision.
The bigger problem though is that by not making decisions we quickly fall into a stupor and never accomplish anything in life beyond watching the latest episode of Doctor Who.