Confession is good for the soul so here goes…I am a school-trained ORSA (Operations Research Systems Analyst) Geek! There, I feel better now. Many years ago, the Army (in its infinite wisdom) decided that I should attend school and become an ORSA (at first I thought they wanted me to be a whale, but then I saw it was an “S” not a “C”). After that stellar start in my new career path, I asked the ever-popular question, “What the Heck is an ORSA?” Clearly, I was VERY qualified for this intellectual challenge. After several months of ignoring their phone calls and deleting their emails, Big Army finally found me and sent me off to school where I learned that one of the things which ORSAs do is called Decision Analysis. They teach you lots of cool techniques involving probabilities, mathematical modeling, trend analysis, statistical modeling, human psychology, and other fancy-sounding gizmos to assist you in choosing the optimal decision when presented with two or more alternatives. So much for flipping a coin. I soon learned that there was actually a good deal of value in applying Decision Analysis to determine courses of action…besides, it’s much more impressive-sounding than coin-flipping.
Although the many techniques employed by ORSAs to aid in decision-making are scientifically-based and, usually, more accurate than throwing a dart at a dartboard, they do have one fatal flaw – none of them takes into account the only criteria which really matters…WWJD? While brilliant minds have developed all these great tools to help humans make better decisions, they forgot to ask the ONE and ONLY Person who ever existed Who had a PERFECT track record for decision-making – Jesus! Jesus NEVER made a wrong decision – not Once! Now, you would think, with a subject matter expert like Him, someone would have had the foresight to ask how He accomplished this untouchable record. Nope, not a one of these brilliant minds thought of that. Not a single reference to “WWJD” was to be found in any of my textbooks…go figure. Why do you suppose that is? Well, a large part of Decision Analysis theory focuses on ascertaining what the decision-maker wants the desired outcome to be. In other words, what is going to give the decision-maker the most “value.”
“Value” by its nature is subjective. There are some widely-accepted objective measurements of value (e.g., cash) but even those measurements are not universal and certainly not eternal (try asking a very wealthy but terminally ill man how much he values his money). When we ponder the meaning of our lives and the fleeting time we spend on this earth as compared to the eternal hereafter, it seems to me that the best deal for all of us is to value what Jesus valued. As you continue your journey on this earth, I challenge you to emulate the ONE and ONLY Perfect Person Who ever lived by applying WWJD as your constant Decision Analysis Tool. It is guaranteed to reap you eternal value.
-Pastor Dave Jones