Monday, April 23, 2012

Life: The Sum of Our Choices

"Life is the sum of our choices."
--Wayne Dyer

The pastor who spoke at my Baccalaureate reception based his sermon around this quote.  The older I get, the more I agree with it.  I stand in amazement as I watch old classmates deliberately choose destructive paths, and each little choice adds up, so that they eventually become "that guy," or "that person" that they never wanted to be.

Sometimes I think they must wake up wondering what happened, because they sure aren't thinking clearly about each day's choices.  If they knew that one extra drink would leave them to an alcoholic lifestyle with no job, no friends, and no ambitions by age 20, I seriously doubt they would have made the choice to begin with.

By no means have I got it perfect, I make mistakes constantly.  The difference is, I ask God to convict me of my mistakes and change my heart to make me better--more holy, more like Him.  I ask God before making major decisions, and I allow his Spirit to guide me on all the thousands of smaller ones throughout the day.  When I make a decision on my own, my soul is often convicted so much that I can't get through the rest of my day without getting things back right with my best friend, the Father.

Praise the Lord that we serve a God of choices, one who let's us decide our own passions, our own lifestyle, even our own fate.  The fact that he places so much power in our hands astounds me and yet humbles me.  How much love must he have to be able to step away and let us decide on our own.

You see, God wants more than anything for us to willingly choose him, and therefore love him, with every single ounce of love we can possible hold within us.  That is what he truly, truly desires.  And that,is why he leaves it up to us.  He does not ask for forced love, that would be arrogant.  He could very easily make us want him, but that would be manipulative.  

No, our God is a perfect gentlemen.  One who waits patiently as we have the freedom to choose who and what we give our daily devotions too.  He designed us to need him and want him, yet he freely lets us choose if we will fill our longings with him.  It's a fifty-fifty shot, but he knows the real deal is worth betting on.

Life is full of choices.  If you were to stop and think for one second how many choices you made within the first ten minutes of waking up, you would be astounded.  The choice to get out of bed, the choice to brush your teeth, the choice to hit snooze before you fully wake up, the choice to complain about the temperature, the choice to grumble at your spouse...the choices are endless, and that's just the first few seconds!

The reality is, all these teeny, tiny choices add up to make us who we are, how we describe ourselves, and how God uses us.  Just think, what if you had chosen not to get out of bed this morning.  What would have gone differently?  Chances are your whole day would have been drastically effected by this one small, seemingly insignificant choice.  And yet you make choices like these every day--not just in practical things, but in spiritual things too.

Following God full-heartedly is a choice.
Healing is a choice.
Forgiveness is a choice.
Love is a choice.

What will you choose?