COLUMN: The paralysis of analysis

Published 5:45 pm Sunday, April 23, 2023

This morning I listened to Dr. David Jeremiah on television at 8 a.m. He was being interviewed by a lady, by the name of Sheila Walsh. The interview consisted of questions on the topic of, “Where Do We Go from Here.” We see the turmoil and the rancor in today’s world and wonder what the future holds for us; not so much for us, but for our children and our grandchildren and great grandchildren. Our national leaders and most of us seem to spend our time plotting and planning our future actions. Always we seem to be doing research and investigating this person or that situation and never are able to come to a rational conclusion. 

At some point during the interview with Dr. Jeremiah this morning I heard him use a phrase I had never heard before, but it hit me like a hammer! This is the problem with the nation and it is also our own tendency to be trapped in the investigation and research phase and we seem to be happy in prolonging the problem. In doing so we never have to face the truth and make a decision. This is paralysis of analysis!

It was after I was grown and had a family that I came to realize that I was living a life of investigation and analysis regarding my faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I was duly baptized at age nine, as most kids my age were, hoping that what I had learned was true. I attended church faithfully until my college days. There was too much other stuff going on and it lasted late into Saturday night and I was still in bed asleep during church time. When I returned home and began working, courting, and finally marrying, I began to attend church regularly again. I raised my kids in church and I diligently served in all offices and as committee chairman whenever needed. All of these things I did while I was still not committed to THE TRUTH. I was a good church member that is all. I was the true definition of a person suffering from paralysis of analysis.

Then one night I had a vivid dream it was much more than a dream to me, it was a vision. I am assuming that God looked down and saw my situation and dilemma and decided to shake me up and bring me out of that paralysis. Following is that encounter I had with God. In the vision I was a young boy, standing in my yard at home, by the clothesline, with my mother’s mother, my grandma. It was twilight and the stars were beginning to shine brightly. We stood there admiring the heavens, and I remember she had her arm around me. Suddenly, a huge stormy roll cloud, dark and threatening, began to form in the northeast and came toward us. I began to hear a noise, but it was not thunder, it was the sound of singing. It was faint at first, but then it began to increase in volume. It sounded like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir times 10. As the roll cloud came closer I began to perceive a face with a long flowing beard forming in the cloud and I began to hear a booming voice. It was almost directly over our heads when I could understand what the voice was saying. It said, “Why don’t you love me?” It said it over and over again as it passed over us and I could see that face as it spoke. Awestruck, I hugged my grandma and asked her, “What was that grandma?” She solemnity said,” I think we have just seen and been admonished by God.”

When I awoke the next morning I was filled with remorse and wonder at what I had experienced. I tried to tell Marti, but at first I could only blubber like a little child. Finally I was able to tell her what happened and she was amazed. From that moment on I accepted Christ as my Savior and He forgave me all of my transgressions and my paralysis analysis. I plead with all who may read this, “Don’t put off that wonderful conclusion and acceptance of the Gospel message that tells us that Jesus came into the world, not to condemn it, but to save it” 

Take that step, make that decision, Analysis Paralysis can be deadly for your eternal soul. You may not have tomorrow to do any further analysis. Now could be your moment.

Jimmy Howell is a native of Southampton County. He can be reached via email at