Today during our church service, my pastor spoke to us concerning the role that choice plays in our lives.
Every single day we are faced with many choices, whether it be something as simple as what to have for breakfast, or a slightly more complicated matter such as choosing whether to accept that promotion or buy a new car. Regardless of the nature of the choice, there will be consequences that follow. The choice may take a split second to make, yet sometimes the ramifications thereof can influence our lives for years to come.
But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil…Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days…Deuteronomy 30v14-15, 19b-20
He used the above scripture as a reference, and what really stood out to me was the fact that God has given us the power of choice – to choose good or destruction in every area of our lives. This is the beauty of free will. We are not mere victims of fate; we do not have to sit back and watch as our lives slowly disintegrate before us, all because of an incorrect belief that we cannot make our own choices. And the beauty of it all – we make the choice and God goes with us every step of the way!
The important thing to remember is that these choices have ramifications. The diet we choose to follow, the company we choose to keep, the careers we decide to pursue…these can lead us into life and good or death and destruction. Sure, it is convenient to make excuses in an attempt to put off making a decision and taking responsibility for our actions, but it is also crippling and counterproductive to procrastinate and hope that life will simply work itself out. To think “maybe one day I will wake up and fit into my old jeans” or “perhaps if I wait just a few more years fate will come knocking on my door with that dream job offer” is not only a waste of precious thinking time, but also a huge stumbling block in getting us to take action to make our dreams become our reality.
The sad part is that too many times we choose to manage the chaos of the future – the ramifications of bad decisions – than to make wise and disciplined choices today. We would rather take the easy way out, shut our eyes and make an irresponsible decision, foolishly hoping for the best, than take the time and effort to think things through. We might ‘live for the moment’ and not think that the cream doughnut and bacon and cheese burger we eat today will not affect our cholesterol and blood pressure a few years down the line, or that the unethical business decision we made to win that contract won’t cost us our job later…but these things have a way of catching up to us…and then it is too late to rectify our choices.
So I would like to encourage you tonight – whatever decisions you may be struggling with, whatever goals you may dream of pursuing but cannot seem to get off the ground – make a choice and go with it.
In closing, my pastor told us a story about Luciano Pavarotti, the famous operatic tenor. Upon completing his training, Luciano approached his father one day and asked him whether he should pursue a teaching career or a singing career. His father told him something along the lines of: “Luciano, if you sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair.”
The message in this analogy is simple – in life we must choose one path and then pursue it with everything we have. Fix our gaze on the goal and then run that race until we obtain the prize. So let us go into this week and make good choices – wise choices that will lead us into life and good things, not destruction.