Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you happy where you are right now, today? Are you happy with your career?
Is everything good for your children? Are they in a good place in their lives right now?
Are you happy with your married life? Is your spouse the one you wanted or are there regrets now?
Are you happy with the choices you made in building a home for you and your family? Are you happy with your friends?
Were there any tough choices you had to make, and were you happy with the end results?
Looking back in your life up to now, what would you have changed? What were things if only you knew the end results you would have ignored there and then?
What choices have carried on for a while? What lessons have you learned? What would you have done differently?
These and many more are questions that challenge us now and you can reflect on how life could have been different if you have chosen a different path at some moments during your life.
Someone once said, “You are the result of the choices you made in your life.”
As I reflect back on this, I agree strongly. My health situation is the result of bad choices that eventually developed into a habit and strongly influenced my lifestyle. The same too applies to my choice of career. Never for a moment in my young life did I imagine I will ever become a pastor. Early choices in my life were the ones driving me away from the call to be a pastor. Praise the Lord! Forty years later I’m still working as a pastor and am happy about where it took me and how it brought me to where I am today. It involved making friends with people in my church circle and helped me make good and close friends outside of my church network.
Early in the beginning of my work as a pastor, I decided to make as many friends as I could. And the Lord introduced me to some wonderful people in all the places I worked with in the outer islands and here in Rarotonga. I value all my friends and continue to strengthen my relationship with. Another popular saying says, “You can tell what a person is like by the friends they have.”
All of this of course involves choices. Before you make a decision, there needs to be some information as to what you are basing it on. When you are a child, decisions are made by parents, guardians and other influential people in your life. As children grow older, they start to experiment and challenge some of the influences they grew up with. They start to say no to some things and this is the time many parents think their children, by then teenagers, are rebelling against them.
No! This is all part of the maturation process where a person defines why there are “yes” and “no” answers to many things in life. After a while people continue to mature and eventually they come to the place where they make choices based on their own assessment of any given situation.
I would like to bring to our attention three places in the Bible where people were asked to make important decisions, “on the dot”.
In the book of Joshua, he challenged the children of Israel with the following challenge, “Jos 24:12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove them out before you—also the two Amorite kings. You did not do it with your own sword and bow.
Jos 24:13 – “So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.”
Jos 24:14 - “Now fear the Lord serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.”
Jos 24:15 - “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
The question was for the people to choose on that day who are they to serve. It did not them to decide tomorrow, or next week, they were challenged to choose there and then. The end result was (Jos 24:24, 25) “And the people said to Joshua, ‘We will serve the LORD our God and obey him’.
On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he drew up for them decrees and laws.
What bothers me sometimes is when people are threatened with end times references in the Bible, where fear is the determining factor to make or even force people to choose to serve and obey God.
Prophet Elijah challenged the children of Israel to make a choice. This is what he said: “How long will you keep hesitating between both sides? If the Lord is God, go after him. If Baal, go after him.” (1 Kings 18:20). Look at the freedom and the respect of choices to be made. An optional choice was made available to them that day. Choices was not driven by fear but by love and who to love.
King David said this of what God reminded him in “Ps 95:8, 9… “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did.”
Like Joshua and Elijah, King David challenged the people to make the choice on that day and not to repeat the same mistake their forefathers did when the opportunity was given them to choose.
Choices we make impact the development of our characters. A writer in the Seventh-day Adventist Church by the name of Elle G White made this brief comment: “It is not through one act that the character is formed, but by a repetition of acts that habits are established and character confirmed.”
In life there are both easy and hard choices to be made. I sense relationships are very much involved in good choices. Good relationships with others encourage good choices, bad relations with other results in challenging choices.
The same applies to the choices we make involving God. Understanding God and His promises is a big advantage in making good sound choices, because together with the Holy Spirit, it influences the direction of the path you will want to take. The point here is whether you believe in God or not. The choices you make will either make or break you.
Choices are made in our minds… which results to habits and then to lifestyle, then to character and finally to destiny. Do our choices matter? Yes! They definitely matter because they will lead you to the destiny your choices take you to.
Good moral choices you make today will assist you to stand strong in the future. It is not a one-off experience, but rather a day-to-day development, creating the person you are and will be.