27 On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 28 They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep. 29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away. Acts 27:27-32
Imagine for a moment you were one of the soldiers on board that ship. You know the bottom of the sea is getting more shallow, which means you could easily run aground. All kinds of problems occur when your ship runs aground. So you do what you think is logical: drop a lifeboat overboard and prepare to jump in.
But as you start to get in, the crazy preacher on board tells you to stay with the ship. What do you do?
This was no small dilemma for the centurian and the soldiers. The soldiers, of course, would do what the centurian commanded them, but Julius the centurian had to go with his gut feeling.
We know that Julius chose wisely because the story ends well.
We’ve all been in the middle of two contradictory choices. We never know the outcome so we have to make our best guess and pray it’s the right one. And there aren’t any wild buzzers and lights going off after you make the choice saying it was the right one. God has given us a mind and intellect to make the best and wisest decision based on current knowledge and understanding. God wants us to think it through and pray about it. Usually the decisions we make are not life and death situations.
If we need to step back and regroup, we can do that as well.