“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness (John 12:46).”
I used to have an office mate from Germany who had a full time job where I worked, but was hardly ever there. He would come in, teach his classes and leave.
One day, he looked at me and sang “should I stay or should I go?”. I laughed, because I knew the answer to that melodic question.
The song was made famous by a punk group of the 70s and 8os called The Clash. Their name seems fitting because of their style and what they sang about.
The groups beginnings were influenced by the development of the genre at the time. Mick Jones, one of the founding members, watched one of the famous punk groups of the 70s.
He said of that experience, “You knew straight away that was it, and this was what it was going to be like from now on. It was a new scene, new values—so different from what had happened before. A bit dangerous.”
The Clash made a major impact on the music scene. They left a legacy, influencing modern groups like U2
That great web source Wikipedia quotes punk musician and author John Robb about the impact of the group: “The Clash were utterly inspirational, utterly positive, and they offered a million possibilities.”
The Clash sang about things that mattered. Instead of singing, as one contemporary put it, “bowling down California highways”, their lyrics concerned their real lives in London and political issues they believed in.
“Should I Stay or Should I Go” was about an up and down relationship one of the group members had with a girlfriend. Here’s the first stanza:
“Darling you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
If you say that you are mine
I’ll be here ’til the end of time
So you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?”
However, I listen to it and think of my own indecisiveness at the moment. I have a big decision to make, and things could go either way.
I would just as soon God write in the sky, “Do this!” However, he doesn’t seem to work that way. It’s driving me crazy:
“Always tease tease tease
You’re happy when I’m on my knees
One day is fine, next day is black
So if you want me off your back
Well come on and let me know
Should I stay or should I go?”
I am unemployed and need to leave my family to go make some money. The job is overseas.
“Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An’ if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know!”
As I am in my mid-50s, this is an important decision. As I think of the potential effects of my choices, I just don’t know the best option,
“This indecision’s bugging me
Esta indecision me molesta
If you don’t want me, set me free
Si no me quieres, librame
Exactly whom I’m supposed to be
Dime que tengo que ser.”
If anyone knows me, it’s God. However, He’s won’t give me finality on the thing.
“Don’t you know which clothes even fit me?
¿sabes que ropas me quedan?
Come on and let me know
Me tienes que decir
Should I cool it or should I blow?
¿me debo ir o quedarme?”
There are a lot of issues when it comes to making a major decision. I did some research about decisionmaking the other day and found surprisingly that intuitive thinking, i.e. using your gut, is a good thing. Sometimes you just know what to do.
Overthinking the consequences isn’t really a good idea. This is because no one knows the future.
The wise man of Proverbs wrote,”Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring (Proverbs 27:1).”
What is really on my mind this morning is the legacy thing. What will be the effect of my choice on my family? Where will it lead in terms of what I contribute to the Kingdom of God before I pass on?
So many questions. It’s no wonder that the group that sang “Should I Stay or Should I Go” called themselves “The Clash”.
The one Person I need not fight with is God. He is not a tease and I am indeed His. God wants me.
God also knows what’s best for me (Romans 8:28) . In addition, He knows me fully (Psalm 139:1,2).
The Psalmist tells me several other things when I begin to question God’s faithfulness and character in my situation:
*God is right there with me in the midst of my decision (Psalm 139:7-10).
* I may be in the dark right now, but He isn’t (Psalm 139:11,12).
* I can trust myself to some degree because God made me the person I am (Psalm 139:13-16).
*God’s thoughts on my situation are paramount and precious (Psalm 139:17-18)
My prayer at the moment comes from the Psalmist:
“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23,24).”
I don’t want to spend my time now, in the immediate future or in the long run mucking about. I want my life to matter for my family and for eternity.
God surely knows this and can be trusted to help me make the right choice. He is utterly positive, completely and totally inspirational, and He offers a million possibilities.