Friday, October 23, 2015


We have so many choices to make in this life. Some are simple and require little to no thought, such as "should I get out of bed, or not?" Many choices can be made once and then stuck to, with no need for further internal (or external) debate about it, i.e. "I'm never going to drink alcohol or do drugs." Many of our choices fall somewhere in the no-man's land between these. Small and simple choices like what to wear, what to eat, or what to do with our time often need to be made daily and can have larger impacts than what they appear to on the surface.

If we decide to wear provocative or obscene clothing, where will that choice lead us? Some will say that what we wear doesn't really matter, that it's what's on the inside that counts. I would argue that what shows on the outside is often a reflection of what's on the inside. Are we dressing to show that we respect the body God has blessed us with? Do the clothes we're wearing show that we care about others and want to do good? Or are they trying to flaunt our sexuality or rude attitude? I'm not here to tell anyone how to dress. All that I can say is that you get a different vibe from someone who is dressed modestly and carries themselves with self-respect than you do someone who is obviously trying to gain attention or acceptance through their wardrobe.

The choice of what to eat is also full of greater importance than it seems on the surface. Does it really matter if you eat your fruits and veggies, rather than a steady diet of fast food? It might. It all comes down to what we want for the body we've been blessed with. Do we want to stay healthy and strong, so that we can continue to serve in God's kingdom? Are we harming our spirit with our lack of control over what we put in our body? I'm not perfect at eating healthy all the time or always getting the exercise or rest my body needs, but I recognize that God put good foods on this earth in their natural form, and that's what our bodies were made to use for fuel, not all of the processed and highly salted/sweetened "foods" that corporations are working hard to sell. If I am not careful in my choice about what to eat, it could affect my ability to make many other choices during my day. Will I be able to do as much with my time if I'm not properly fueling my body? I don't think so. I'll likely be too tired to respond to the needs of others. I may even neglect or abuse my body to the point that I am unable to properly care for myself, much less be able to serve anyone else.

What about our choice of how to use our time each day? I have met people who fall across a broad spectrum of time management skills. Some waste their days with sleep, video games, watching tv, or endlessly checking social websites. Other waste the majority of their time and energy complaining, making excuses, and playing the victim. On the other end of the spectrum, I have met people who seem to be able to fit more stuff into one day than I ever thought possible. Some are able to take care of jobs, home, children, family, church responsibilities, school, and still find time for socializing. Others may not be quite as energetic but use their time to serve others and do their small part towards making the world a better place. I can tell you from personal experience, that I would much rather spend time with the time managers than the time wasters. They tend to inspire others to worthwhile action and are a light to those around them. On the other hand, those who waste their time are not just wasting time, but are wasting their potential. No matter what our talents are, what skill sets we have or don't have, and what are struggles are, we all have tremendous potential to make more of ourselves with the Lords' help. I can't imagine facing the Lord on judgment day with the realization that I could have been a much different and much better person if only I had asked for His help and then got to work on it. God has given us each day. It's His time and I think He expects us to make the most of it.

We are free to act for ourselves. That's the gift God has given every one of us. Many of our choices seem small and insignificant in themselves, but when looked at as part of our whole eternal experience, may take on much greater meaning. When I think about how ultimately we choose our own spiritual survival or spiritual death, I think that making choices takes on a lot more importance. When we can master the small choices, we build a solid foundation of experience and are able to more successfully choose those things that will bring us eternal happiness. We learn to choose those things that help us become the person God wants us to be. We learn to choose His way.

Our choices are what will draw us closer to or push us further from God. We can choose to draw closer to God, choose to accept Jesus as our Savior, choose to apply the atonement in our life, choose to use our bodies, time, and talents to bless the lives of others, and choose to be grateful and focus on the positive in our life. We can choose to be happy.

No comments: