Friday, January 13, 2012


2012: A Year of Thanksgiving and Praise
Day 13: Today I'm Thankful for Choice

Have you ever caught yourself saying "I had no choice..."? That is a phrase that we should all abolish from our vocabulary. I know that there are times when we may not like the choices we have, and it may seem that one choice isn't any better than the other (I frequently feel that way come election time!). But, to say we have no choice is a lie.

From the very beginning, we were created with the power of choice.

I've heard people question why God being Omniscient (all-knowing) and Omnipresent (everywhere present) and Omnipotent (all-powerful), could have allowed sin to happen in the first place.

The reason is simple. He created us with free will. We were given the ability from the start to choose what we wanted to believe in and what we wanted to do. Unfortunately, man made a poor choice and we have been suffering the consequences ever since.

But, before you curse Adam and Eve and wonder why they messed things up so royally, take a good hard look at the choices you make every day and as Jesus once said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

My first choice comes early every morning when the alarm goes off. I can choose to get up right then, or I can choose to hit the snooze button and stay in bed just a little bit longer. At this time of the year, that tends to be my choice fairly often. When the weather is cold and the house has a bit of a chill in the early morning, I will frequently choose to hit the snooze button and stay under the covers just a few minutes more (in 8-minute "snooze" segments) until my choice becomes cutting something from my morning routine, or getting out of bed now.

I can choose to spend some time in God's Word, praying and singing praise, or I can choose to hop on line and check my email and Facebook.

I can choose to exercise and give my body a good workout, or I can choose to sleep a few more 8-minute segments until I no longer have time to work out.

I can choose to eat a good breakfast, or I can choose to go without and snack on something less healthy later on because I'm hungry and didn't take the time to eat right at home.

I can choose to have a good attitude and a good day no matter what circumstances I face, or I can simply react and let my emotions control me.

I can choose to spend my money wisely and live within my means, or I can give in to impulse shopping and buy whatever my friends, or neighbors, or family members have so that I don't feel left behind.

I can choose to focus on my work and be productive, or I can choose to be distracted by every bright and shiny object that comes along.

I can choose to plan for my future, or I can simply live for today with no thought about tomorrow.

I can go to bed at a decent time and get a good night's sleep, or I can stay up all night and then struggle to get out of bed the next day.

The thing is, we often will make poor choices, or put off making a choice, and then moan that we have no choice. In all actuality, had we made a good choice early on, we wouldn't be left with such a poor selection when things finally get down to the wire and we are forced to choose from whatever decisions are still available to us later.

There is an old saying that is very true... not to decide is to decide.

God gave His people the power of choice. But, He didn't stop there. He also told us what our choices were and gave His recommendation as to what the best choice was.

"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live..."
~Deuteronomy 30:19  

Seems simple enough. It's the same choice Adam and Eve had. It's the same choice each of us has today.

Don't let anyone tell you there is no right and wrong, no good or evil, no heaven or hell. There is a difference between right and wrong. Even if you want to deny it, there is something inside you that knows it. You know when you are about to make a bad choice. You can feel it down to your bones. But sometimes we ignore that inner knowing and forge ahead anyway.

We aren't so different from Adam and Eve, or from the Scribes and Pharisees, or from the prostitute on the street corner, or the prisoner on death row. The only thing that separates us from any of them is the power of choice and how we use it.

Like Joshua, I say:

"...choose you this day whom ye will serve; ...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
~Joshua 24:15  

Today, I am thankful for choice.

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