Posts Tagged ‘choosing’

You Have a Choice

January 23, 2017

You cannot always chose what life will throw at you.

You can choose your response. Maybe after an initial outburst of “Why me, God?”

I teach soccer referees, give the player or coach leeway on an initial emotional exclamation. You get kicked. It hurts. You exclaim something. It may not be nice. But it hurt. After that, there is a choice. Keep it up or shut up.

Sometimes what comes at us is a result of choices.

We can choose lots of fried food and sodas.

Where did that overweight come from? The stomach and digestive tract issues? The cancer of the gall bladder (or elsewhere)?

We chose.

Our friend suggests something fun to do. We choose. We get into trouble. (What person who has survived being a teenager can say that never happened?)

We chose.

We devote ourselves to helping other people.

Another choice.

Sometimes someone you know is not aware of their issues. But to offer unwanted advice is never welcome.

You choose to be quiet until the appropriate time.

Choices. We make thousands per day. Choose wisely.

Easter Comes, Then What’s Next

March 28, 2016

The day of the crucifixion came and afterwards Jesus’ friends and followers hid out in a locked house for fear the authorities might come after them.

On the third day, some ventured out to perform funeral rituals. Problem–no body. Then Jesus began appearing to various ones.

They were still confused. Some scattered. A bunch returned home to the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. They really had no clue what came next. It took a while to digest the experiences.

Then the Spirit came. They were on fire. There was no stopping them. They didn’t build “churches,” they shared a new way to live. And the new faithful indeed did live differently from their neighbors. Differently in a way that attracted others.

The theme in my reading over the past couple of days has been centered on what’s an after-Easter life.

That is why we practice what are known as spiritual disciplines–regular Bible reading, meditation, prayer, service, prayer, worship. The days after can slip into the old routine. Starting new habits is hard.  We must be intentional in our new life.

For most of us, that “Easter moment” happened many years ago. But as the Righteous Brothers sang so movingly, we’ve “lost that loving feeling.”

What better time than after the Easter celebrations to develop new habits with intention. Not just slipping into a mindless routine. Choose our routines.

Live out Easter daily.

You Cannot Serve Two Masters

May 21, 2015

“I just don’t like the idea that I’m a slave. Where is free will? Don’t I have free will?”

The word translated as slave in Western European languages from the Greek has been a stumbling block to many. Nineteenth Century atheist philosophers pounced on that language in their newfound glory of the individual human as a reason to reject Christianity.

My friend in our small group probing the depths of the letter to the Romans gave an honest reaction to Paul’s statements that once we were slaves to sin and now we are slaves to righteousness.

I doubt Paul and my friend interpreted the word the same. For Paul, the theory was not forceable captivity against our will. It was a choice.

Jesus said, you cannot serve two masters. You must choose.

When you choose righteousness, you acknowledge that as your “master.” Much as a disciple tries to be as much like his teacher as possible, when you choose righteousness, then you try to live as much to that standard as possible.

Every day you are faced with little and not-so-little choices of how to act. As you remember to choose to be like your righteous master, you choose to do good. Soon the response is automatic. You become a righteous person. 

I don’t mean that in the sense of self-righteous–a phrase that denotes a person who points out all the shortcomings of others in an obnoxious manner. But in the sense of a person you’d truly love to be around because they seem to care about you, are concerned for your well being, at peace with the universe.

The other master that many think of is free will is the “do my own thing” master. This is tempting. Until we discover that we have been living a life captive to our desires which are easily manipulated by advertising and peers. 

This choice is much older than even Paul and Jesus. Proverbs is full of the same warnings. 

Translators are traitors, as a friend reminded me a few days ago. The concept Paul had in mind was that of a person who attached himself to a master–most likely for economic security. But maybe also out of respect. Not so much coercion. 

Which master will you follow? Choose wisely.