Decision Making 101


Avocados are great … just something I noticed.
OK, OK, we’re serious. What are we talking about? … shoot…. um (snaps) Got it! Hi, my name is Father Mike Schmitz and this is Ascension Presents. So, um, when it comes to decision making, I think it’s important to realize that as Catholic Christians, we’re not alone. You don’t have to try to figure out how do you make decisions on your own because there have been a lot of really
really wise people who have come before you that have a lot of really great wise
wisdom to help you to make wise decisions. Number one, you can ask the question:
OK, what would the best version of me do, right? What would the most faithful version of me do in this moment? Well, another way to ask it is:
What would the freest version of me do in this moment? You’re faced with a decision, faced with a dilemma. A lot of times, we can say like, “I but I don’t know if I can … ” But if you were free,
what would you choose? Another way to say it is:
If I was Christ living today as I am, in me, as me,
what would I choose? It’s kind of the classic “What would Jesus do?”
but I just used more letters to explain it, because chances are, you are freer than you think. Those are some some hopefully clarifying questions, but if you still don’t know, of course, we continue to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us; but a great process for discernment is this:
First is, we have to gather data, right? A lot of times, people try to make decisions or try to discern stuff with only the limited amount of data and I always have this image of … remember solving for x? I think that was algebra or geometry or something, I guess? One of those math things, where you’re
solving for x… oh, let’s do Sudoku, right? So you have like here’s all these empty squares. You only have some letters, you know, like I can’t go anywhere unless I get more letters, and so sometimes that’s the case, right?
So sometimes, I’m like, I don’t know where to go because with the information I have about this dilemma, about this problem, about this decision, I would just be guessing. So the first thing would be information gathering. So, I’m looking at a religious community. Well, which one is it? Do they have a website?
Can you go visit? I’m trying to figure out if I should quit my job and find another job. OK, well are there any other jobs out there? Like, what’s the chances of someone with your education level and experience background, like, getting another job? It’s basically just gathering data and that data is not the answer. The data might help you get closer to the answer. So, information gathering. It could also mean not just gathering data, but seeking, what they call, “Seeking counsel.” I’m talking to a living, breathing human being who’s had experience and hopefully, has wisdom that can give me some counsel. In my experience, this is what’s happening. You can actually kind of engage with them in
a really good and hopefully helpful way. When someone’s looking for advice, a lot
of times, like, they’re asking me for advice, they’re asking me, “Father Mike, what should I do?” and they’re actually giving me the responsibility for making the decision for them. When someone’s seeking counsel, it’s “Share your wisdom with me so I can make a decision and take personal responsibility for that decision.” But at some point what I need to do, is I need to act.
At some point, I need to move; and this might be you in this case. Now does it mean, “OK, I need to just jump off my old job and start this new job?” Not necessarily.
Does it mean I just need to say, “Forget it, I’m dropping out of school and going to the convent?” Not necessarily, but it does mean making some kind of movement and taking some kind of action. That action doesn’t have to be huge if you still don’t know exactly. It can just be a small action, where you test out the information, you test out the council, and you just say, “OK, would this work?” The image I have, since I live in northern
Minnesota, we have a lot of deer hunters around here and so every year, around this time of year, people are sighting in their rifles. What you do when you sight in a rifle, is before the hunting season starts, you go to a range and you line up the target in the scope, you line it up as perfectly as you can, and you don’t just line it up there and let it go and say, “Well, I think we’re sighted in.” You line it up and then you actually have to pull the trigger. When you pull the trigger, you see how accurate the scope is to the target. Chances are, it’ll need to be adjusted, but that’s OK. Why? Because you’re doing this a couple weeks before the season has started. You don’t sight in your gun when you actually have a deer in the crosshairs, right? That’s the wrong time to do this. That’s making a big, big decision without knowing actually, will it pay off? So, in this case, to be able to say, “OK, I’ve got the information, I’ve sought counsel, I’ve prayed about this, and I have taken action, taken a step and just kind of tested it out.” Because chances are, when you take that step and say, “OK, that’s a good step but I need to adjust it.” Or you could even say, “OK, that was a bad step, that was the wrong thing. I can see now, that’s not really where I want to be, it’s not really where I want to go.
But no problem, because I didn’t I just quit my job and like jump into the dark future. I didn’t just kind of like say, you know, ‘Forget everything,’ and go to the … whatever the next step is. I’m testing it out.”
You know, that is simultaneously wise and courageous. It’s wise and courageous, because it’s wise: “I’ve thought this out, I’m not being reckless;” and it’s courageous because it’s one thing to line up the target and then walk away, another thing to line up the target and pull the trigger. It always takes courage to move. It takes wisdom to move well, but it takes courage to move at all. So if you find yourself facing a decision, facing some kind of dilemma, or in the
middle of some kind of crossroads, OK, gather more information, seek out counsel from people who know. People write to me and ask counsel for like, “Father, where should I invest?” I am not the guy to give you advice on investing. “Father, should I pursue this degree in accounting or this degree in political … poli sci?” Like, well, we can talk about it, but listen I’m not the expert on that kind of thing. Seek out wise counsel, pray about it,
process it, and then take a step, pull the trigger, and move a
little bit. Then evaluate, calibrate, and do it again. From all of us here at Ascension Presents, my name is Father Mike Schmitz. God bless and be wise.

97 thoughts on “Decision Making 101”

  1. // not a Catholic// Last time I was at a Catholic Church they had a book they used that was set by the day of the year. Is there a website, trick or something to find out what page number is going to be used for a certain Sunday? Oh yeah thanks again for taking the time, and effort into making these. I appreciate it.

  2. Hi Father Mike. I have a question that really doesn't pertain to this video and I apologize. But I don't know where to ask. Is there any way that you could do a video on Bibles and Bible journaling in the Catholic community. Bible journaling which entails not only journaling in your bible but coloring and painting in it as well. Just type in bible journaling on YouTube. My daughter crecently went on a women's Catholic retreat. They were to take their bibles with them. When she took her bible and opened it during reading the sisters were appalled. It was her St Joseph Edition. She messaged me and was so upset. My question is, is it okay to journal, paint and color in our Catholic bibles? Not just high light but really journal , color and paint. I know bible art and journaling became very popular in the protestant community. But Catholics also started jumping on the band wagon. It is so popular that Guideposts just came out with the first Catholic journaling bible set to release in Jan. My daughter's bible looks like a colorful rainbow. As does mine. But my husband also has a problem with it, He says its defiling Gods Word. I know a few people who are also coloring painting in their Divine Liturgy of the hours . If you can can you please go on YouTube and search bible journaling and if its acceptable for Catholics and if its acceptable with the church?
    Help! Thank You

  3. Hey, perfect timing. I'm going on a vocation retreat this weekend. I've been having a lot of doubts about going, but it's just a step like you said so it's all cool

  4. A New Beard! The Beard Strikes Back! Return of the Beard! The Phantom Beard! Attack of the Beard! Revenge of the Beard! The Beard Awakens! But hopefully not the Last Beard. I love the beard.

  5. Now that I have actually watched the video, that was excellent Fr Mike. Great paternal, big brotherly advice, as always.

  6. I looking for information on the Courage program the Catholic church has … I am nerves to attend a meeting, I have not been to a Catholic Church before. Only on Youtube ..

  7. Do remember this, it's very important to remember. You are all fundamentally eternal spirits, it's not that BiG of a deal, you always exist and you always will. THE BiG SECRET about ALLLLLLLL the things that are fundamental to all the different religions and faiths on this planet, THE BiG SECRET is the REEAAALLLL TRUTH, is that everybody actually goes to heaven, no matter what, everybody goes to heaven no matter what. Hell is not a place you go to, it's a state you pass through on your way to heaven, that's all there is. Remember, darkness does not exist by itself, darkness is not a thing unto itself, darkness is just the absence of light. Cold is not a thing unto itself, it is just the absence of heat. Evil, is not a thing unto itself, it is only someone operating without feeling the connection to GOD, but that connection is always there and that all there is 😉

  8. I'm going to try an experiment for a week. Before I make every significant decision, I ask myself what would Jesus do?

  9. The best decision a person can make in this life is to trust in Christ alone for their salvation, and not His mother or His saints or any other man made philosophy. A theology that adds to the finished work of Jesus Christ is a theology that can't save. I love you all, God bless

  10. Well, either this video is a sign that God wants me to begin my Catholic Club at my secular high school, or Fr. Mike is is a thought reading wizard.

  11. I remember getting out of the military with 4 children and no job. We took a leap of faith. Our furniture went into storage we stayed with my husband's father crowded into a 950 square foot house. For 2 months we helped his Dad fix up his house, it was really needing help. Then my husband went to the unemployment office, they set up an interview. After which he came home said he got the job but needed a tool box and tools! 3 months later we had bought our first home. Was it wise? Looking back a lot of people would have said 'what the heck are you doing?" but I had faith we would manage and we did, never looked back either.

  12. This was great Father Mike; I NEEDED to hear this. Also, side note, I like that you specified that you’re not just Catholic, you’re Christian. The latter is what counts, and we can see that you love Christ.

  13. Do you think you could touch on the topic of self harm? It's really common in our culture and I just want to hear your thoughts on the topic.

  14. Hi Father Mike,
    I enjoy watching your videos 😊 And this Decision Making 101 has come at the perfect time in my life as I am wrestling through an important decision. I have been gathering information, seeking counseling and praying about this:

    I know God is calling me to be a missionary overseas for a year, which means I have to postpone Graduate school. I feel at peace with this discussion. My parents, however, want me to still go to Graduate school and wait to pursue this calling. If I decide to go overseas, my parents have told me they would not support my decision. How do I honor my parents in this decision when we are called to honor God first?

  15. You were obviously inspired by the Holy Spirit to discuss this topic, as it seems to have resonated with so many people in the comments section below – and I include myself here as well. Exactly what I needed to hear! Thank you for posting!

  16. Nice Video, Have a look on https://youtu.be/ULwNPZwZR5g "you will Never Make Wrong Decision" after watching this video. This video helped me a lot. It may help others.

  17. I love you, Father.  Please pray for my girlfriend and I.  Please pray that my prayers are answered.  My prayers about my girlfriend must be answered.  Please help and please pray for us.  Thank you.  God Is Lord God Is Good God Is Great God Is Lord.

  18. Here you go :

    1.Information gathering
    2. Seek out wise counsel from people you know
    3. pray about it and process it
    4. Taking action

    Hope it help 🙂

  19. Fr. Mike thank you, for your You Tube video's.  I'm 59 yrs. of age and find your homily's so useful in my life.  Thank you, for paving the way to my soul's salvation.  You will have a seat, in heaven.  Father.

  20. Fr Mike, How are Christians supposed to know if an ambition or goal is ok to pursue? When I pray and meditate and talk to God I keep having this dream of fulfilling this particular goal. It's a creative ambition. The problem is before I believed in Christ this goal was all I had and now it doesn't seem as important because it was all about status and recognition. But now I believe I can still pursue this as a Christian. The problem is I made mistakes in the past that made me end up in my 30's with no solid career or work. I can't get this creative ambition out of my mind.

  21. A gun sight is only really set for a specific distance at a specific level under specific conditions. So adjust your aim according to the conditions.

    Which is what you do with every descision of course; and – as in hunting – you often just have to hope for the best because you only have a short time to decide and don't know all the relevant factors.

  22. What if you do not know what Jesus would do? Example as a catholic, im dating a buddhist girl that wants our future kid to be a buddhist however we both will give our kid freedom to choose weather to be a catholic or buddhist. Would Jesus walk away from this relationship?

  23. 1.) What would Jesus do? What would I do if I was 'free'?
    Pray.
    2.) Gather date
    Pray.
    3.) Seek out WISE counsel.
    Pray.
    4.) Test out small steps.
    Pray.

  24. I so needed this! Reverend Father Mike your videos are so inspiring as a young adult returning to the Catholic faith. God bless you Reverend Father 🙏✨✨

  25. But it is true that when the Sisters Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Cresson, Pa. turned on EWTN in 1990, and Mother Angelica was crying the blues about how Bush was going to war in the Middle East , she bothered me psychologically. Why? President Bush already bothered me with Hitler, Nqueen Elizabeth 1 etc. whoile she just sits in her cloister her whole life acting out liuke she knew the most. She will never know the most. Evne St. Stephen, Pope Joihn Paul tyhe Great is himself,not St. Peter the rock at the gAte this time around.

  26. Did she ever cry like he did when my mom was in the hospital already dying of heart attacks and the nurses complained about how she needed to go to the bathroom too much so she got out of bed went herself and broke her hip. he fell in the bathroom at the same time. Did she cry like St. Joseph did when my dad Lazarus from the Bible did. No. she is a high and mighty French aristocrAt who lived in a castle during another era whose daughter became a nun. Big deal. She is not the only one in the world whose daughter became a nun.

  27. and Mother Thresea is the nun who hated Saint Bernadette the first time is also why she made it only to the first mansion of Heaven with the
    heArt of Jesus Christ. No morehigher cause she all her life never cared about the life of St. Bernadette the second time around with us.

  28. I was here to revise for my r.e test but I actually found the video useful for real life so win win lol

  29. So, I’m ten years old, and I’m going to fifth grade next year, and I have two really good friends and this one kid that has known me since kindergarten at this public school and a lot of good friends at this catholic school. Both of the schools would be about the same price because my mom works there. Anybody have any suggestions?

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