I recently read about a U.S. military encounter with the Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabaab which took place in Kenya a few years ago. Our Air Force was flying an armed drone at 25,000 feet above a small village. Below, a group of militants were assembling suicide-bomb vests in the room of a ruined building for immediate dispersal.
At Creech AFB in the Nevada dessert, an American pilot and the female enlisted Airman were operating aiming and firing controls for the drone while siting at a space-age module and awaiting orders to execute. Nearby senior Air Force officers were discussing whether to give the order to launch two Hellfire missiles from the drone which was 8,500 miles away.
The female drone operator then watched as a young Somali girl returned to her table in the street where she had been selling bread. Immediately, a moral dilemma arose and the chain of command was consulted all the way up to the Secretary of State.
At virtually the last minute before the suicide vests would be sent on their way, the decision was made and a fiery missile strike took out the target. The airman’s camera then locked on the image of the dying young girl lying in the street.
As we move through our typical day we are engaged in countless activities, all of which require impetuous decisions. Within an instant we may ask, “is this something I want to do, does it need to be done, how will I accomplish it and who will be impacted either positively or negatively?” Many times we are oblivious to the collateral damage that may be caused by our decisions. But we are also somewhat incognizant of the good that can emanate from our choices.
In the drone attack, possibly thousands of innocent lives were subsequently spared while a very small number of the blameless near the strike lost theirs. Unfortunately, we do not have the advantage of a 25,000 foot view of the consequences of our choices. It is for that reason that we should have a quick and easy method of making decisions. We should:
Base decisions on biblical principles (John 5:39)
Consider negative collateral damage (Proverbs 27:12)
Evaluate the potential positives ( Psalm 37:4, 5)
Trust the Holy Spirit to guide us (Proverbs 3:5-6)
We must get back to trusting God to help us to make good choices in life. The closer we walk with Him, the better choices we will make.
“Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.”
C. S. Lewis