Life is full of choices. I’m not talking about the big ones – like whether to marry, whom to marry, what professional path to take or where to live. Today I woke up thinking about all the seemingly little choices we make that affect our lives profoundly.
I chose to do my morning exercise routine. Not something I enjoy, but I believe it is good for me in the long run. I could have chosen to skip it today and it might not matter much. But if I make it my habit to skip my tedious, undesirable routine day after day, that will negatively impact my health and wellbeing over time.
I miss some things at this stage of life. I can choose to lay in bed and feel sorry for myself. (In fact, I did shed a few tears this morning.) Or I can get up and enjoy what I do have. What I can do. What God has given me, despite my selfish longings for something different.
Of course, there are things beyond our choice. I can choose what to eat for breakfast. But some people are in hospital beds with conditions that prohibit all food. Their nutrients come through an IV tube. Many live in poor cultures where their only available food is a bowl of rice. It will be the same tomorrow and many tomorrows to come.
When I read the story of the children of Israel, God’s chosen people, I am shocked at how quickly they turned away from following the Lord. They saw His miracles. They assured Moses that they would worship the one true God. But in their daily lives, they proved how fickle they were. It’s easy for me to be critical of them. But if I don’t make God’s Word my daily practice, my focus, I soon get distracted by the things of this world. And my “little” decisions, based on my faulty focus, have a “big” impact on my life.
Joshua became the leader of the Israelites after Moses. He wholly followed the Lord, but he saw the weakness of the people who were prone to keeping the old ways, the old idols, in their back pockets, so to speak. So he warned them at the end of his life to make the right choice going forward. Joshua admonished them clearly: “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
Maybe you have the last part of that verse on a plaque in your home. If you made that choice at some time, have you followed through on it? How has that influenced all the little choices you will make today?