Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Freedom of Choice - The Role of a Decision

My friend and ex-coworker just posted his status on Facebook - "planning my midlife crises." Another friend, someone that I have known since I was 5, had his birthday today. We shared some interesting times together until late in high school. It makes me wonder how I got this far along? Occasionally I indulge in the "what ifs" thinking about a decision I made at some point in my life. What if I went to college right after high school instead of two years later? What if I hadn't called Dennis and went my first Ala-Teen meeting? What if I had kept my stock in Levi's, and not purchased stock in Citibank? What if I had saved the $5000 I received from a settlement instead of blowing it on mission trips?

Life in it's atomic form, is a series of decisions - some good and I suppose some bad. Dr. Phil likes to talk about defining moments-- times when we chose or experienced something that defines who we are. I never specifically thought about what those might be . . . certainly meeting Mary Anne, choosing to have faith in God, getting my driver's license, changing to a career in computers, and meeting Carlos are times when life really changed for me. Each experience - each choice gave me a new freedom that I did not have before.

When I look back over my thoughts about those events-- seeing Mary Anne's picture online, her first email to me, even our first date at the Way Ho-- who would have known? We chose to have a second date and a third.

I also remember being at the wheel of a 1972 Mustang - alone with a license. I remember shoving the gas pedal to the floor after turning onto Foot Hill Road that day. Wow! No more driver's instructors or parents. Since then I have driven millions of miles!

Switching careers from photography to computers was another time of significant change-- one filled with new challenges each and every day.

Meeting my friend Carlos as I was leaving a little service at the Salvation Army 10 years ago opened up 3 trips to Brazil. Pretty amazing.

Even making a decision for Christ-- well, it wasn't an amazing time, but it was a serious of little decisions that I made getting to that point where I said "yes" to Jesus.

Honestly, some days it is hard look back and wonder what I was thinking when I decided to do things like join the Army and eat tofu. Don't get me wrong, I think service is a great thing-- it was just a bad experience for me personally -- but one that got me in the direction of Jesus. (Romans 8:28) Tofu? Yakk!

In life's time budget. I am looking back at places where I squandered my time on things that really had no value. (1 Corinthians 3:12-13) It can be so easy to live life and let it make decisions for us. That is the perfect place for the Word of God to break into history, for the Kingdom of God to be at hand and the voice of God to be heard. Well, if we let it.

Some days I get caught in rut, and I don't make decisions for the better-- well based on the Bible. Sometimes I just don't decide anything-- which I guess is a decision in itself. Sure there are some big things that I have done-- things I have signed my name to like mortgages and car loans, corporate papers, and a couple of speeding tickets... but I will never forget that moment when I decided to sign my name to a little piece of paper the said, "Christ is relying on you, and I on Him." David


photogr said...

Life is filled with many "What ifs" during one's life span. One may never know that answer.

What if you did not find Jesus in your life? You would not have experienced salvation, grace, peace, contentment, or love. And that my friend is what defines you today.

I really do feel that God puts things before one in order for one to learn of His divine powers through faith, wisdom, and knowledge. The more one puts their faith in Him for answers, the more one profits and makes less errors.

Anonymous said...

"What if I had saved the $5000 I received from a settlement instead of blowing it on mission trips?"

I'm not a religious person myself, but I have met a number of people who went on missions and none of them ever considered that "blowing". I myself spent my inheritance on 3/4's of a college education (I had to work for the final 1/4).

Next week, we'll chat more, for reasons that will become clear.

Tony C said...

I don't completely agree with Dr. Phil on the defining moments theory partly because it's based in the finite and not the eternal.

If someone makes mistakes in their life, those mistakes don't define who the person is. A better gauge would be what the person does after the mistake is made (are they remorseful, apathetic, laden with guilt, etc.).

The love of God can overcome and cleanse any earthly mistake made by man. Isn't that ultimately what matters?

eaglegirl said...

It can be hard to look back. But there are those good memories too Growing up with a single mother, back in the day when there were few of them. Being blessed that my brothers 16 and 17 yrs older than me were my fathers. And my sister, ten years older a part time mother.
Then seeing how God orchestrated things so that I would be ready to say yes to Him.
Years later having my mother accept Christ also. Then many years later she died from cancer.
But knowing her eternal destiny is a comfort. I pray for my siblings and my nieces and nephews. I am waiting for that phone call saying "Guess what? I am saved too !"
I am glad that before my illness hit me I lived a pretty full life.
And now I am grateful for each 'good' day I have.

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