It is the first day of my vacation. No pre-set agenda. No itinerary. Yet, full of intentional living. Everything we do is a choice. Even in response to events we cannot control, or the actions and words of others. It is a choice. We can choose the way of hope and life, or the way of despair and death. Sadly, many of us are lured into a dangerous dance on the knife-edge of both.
How easily we forget that. Too often, we live on autopilot. We wake, work, waddle on home for sustenance and sleep, only to repeat, over and over, thinking we do so out of compulsion, rather than an act of our will. We are creatures of habit who prefer the paths of least resistance, rather than the rigors of a fulfilling, Christ-centered life.
It’s a strange behavioral arrangement. We credit ourselves with having power we cannot possibly have, yet we consign ourselves to a powerless victimhood which denies our ability to choose. In choosing not to choose, we make tragic default choices which rob our lives of the meaning God intended for us to enjoy.
It does not have to be this way. We can once again regain our rootedness in Christ, our relational connectedness in the family of the redeemed.
I am reminded of the Psalmist’s words:
Psalm 1:1-6 (NIV) Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
As we journey through the coming week, we should ask God how our choices are matching up to his purposes for our lives. Whether they are conscious or unconscious decisions, the fact remains that we own our choices. And we are accountable for them. A sobering thought, yet also encouraging. For God has not left us without hope. Although God disciplines us, we know he does so out of love (Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:6). In Christ, we are free from the bondage of sin which threatens to entangle us (Romans 8; Galatians 5:1; Hebrews 9:15). So, grace liberates us to a pure relationship with God and each other (Romans 5 & 6).