Making Life’s Choice
One day, while walking in
Wonderland, Alice came upon a
cross-road. She did not know which road to take. So she asked one of the
characters in Wonderland, “Sire, could you tell me which road I should choose?”
the character answered her, “My dear, do you know where you are going?” As Alice
stood silently and pondered over that question, he continued, “My dear, if you
do not know where you are going, then it does not matter which way you choose.”
In life, we constantly find
ourselves in situations where we have to make choices. Which path should I
take? What course should I study? In which company should I work? Many people
describe the beginning of life as a boat that has just left the sheltered harbour. We are the coxswain who has to steer this ship in
a vast boisterous sea.
The Wisest Choice…
Today, as Christians who have been
purchased by the precious blood of our Lord, we have actually allowed our Lord
Jesus to become the master of our lives. We have made the choice to believe in
Him, follow Him, and allow Him to lead us into His heavenly kingdom. This is
the wisest and best decision that a person can ever make in his entire life.
Why? Elder James once declared, “What is your life? For you are a mist that
appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (Jas 4:14) Yet if we choose to
believe in him, after this short and earthly life, we shall become partakers of
the eternal heavenly kingdom. Consequently, it is only logical that all the
other choices in our live – our studies, career, etc. – should be in line with
this great choice that we have made.
Sadly, when confronted with the
demands of society, expectations of the people around us and the pressures in
life, we find ourselves in a constant struggle to keep up with our Christian principles.
We find it difficult at times to make choices in our lives that are in concert
with our decision to become a Christian. In addition, we find that the
commitment to our initial choice to become a Christian is often weak and
difficult to sustain.
We are all familiar with the
account of Moses leading the nation of Israel
out of Egypt.
Through the hand of Moses, God performed ten great miracles in the land
of Egypt so that the nation of Israel
could be freed from bondage and slavery. The Israelites were spectators and
witnesses of these signs. They then made the choices to submit themselves to
the leadership of Moses; so that through Moses, God would lead them into the
land of promise.
Arriving at the Red Sea,
a seemingly insurmountable obstacle confronted the entire nation. Right behind
were the pursuing and ferocious armies of the Pharaoh. Immediately, the people
started murmuring against Moses (Ex -12).
At that crucial moment, they have forgotten the ten plagues sent by God. They
had lost faith in God’s salvation and failed to believe in his deliverance. The
Israelites were uncommitted to the choice they had made earlier to let God lead
them into the land of promise.
As they journeyed through the
wilderness, God guided them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire
by night. When they met with adversaries, God fought for them. When they were
hungry or thirsty, God provided for their physiological needs. God cared for
them as a father would do for his children. Finally when they were about to
enter the land of promise, 12 spies were sent to check out the land. Because of
the reports of ten faithless spies, the Israelites started to murmur against
God again. They were even planning to choose a leader to lead them back to Egypt,
to a life of bondage (Num 14:1-4). In perspective, they feared death at the
hands of the Canaanites more than a life of continuous bondage under the
Egyptians. More importantly, they have forgotten how God had guided them in
their wilderness journey. They have also forgotten the mighty works of God that
they had witnessed with their own eyes. Where was their commitment to their
choice to leave Egypt
and enter the promised land? It had all gone! Their
commitment was situational, largely influenced by their circumstances. As a
result, for most of them, their lives ended tragically. Except for Joshua and
Caleb, those above the age of 20 could not enter the promised
It is heart-wrenching o read of
the tragedy of the Israelites. It would be worse to find ourselves repeating
this history. Today, we have decided to become a Christian. This is good. But
do we have faith in God’s promises? Are we constantly relying on Him to guide
us and trusting His deliverance in all our times of need? Let the tragedy of the
Israelites be a lesson to us. We have to constantly ponder over the mighty
works of God in our own lives and, based on these, build up a life of trust in
God. Let us not merely be Christians by name, uncommitted to our faith. If we are, we may find ourselves barred from
the land of promise one day. Let us hold fast to our faith and be totally
committed to it right to the end (Heb ).
An Even Better Life?
Growing materialism and affluence
constantly lure us in search of a more comfortable life. Are God’s material
blessings insufficient? Are we caught up in the vicious circle of material
pursuit and upgrading? Some have chosen a more comfortable life at the expense
of their faith. Some have chosen to store up treasures on earth, thereby
compromising their fervour and dedication towards
God. Some have invested more time in pursuing things in this world because they
are afraid of losing out to their relatives and close friends in the quantity
and quality of their material possessions. Are all these necessary? Didn’t God
say that if we seek His kingdom and righteousness, then He would provide all
our basic needs (Mt )?
The Bible portrays Christianity as
a relationship between God and humanity. Our Lord Jesus Christ had gone all the
way to provide a new and living way for us. He remains committed to His mission
to make that sacrifice for us (Phil 2:8). Today, He understands our weaknesses
and continues to help us in our times of need. He remains faithful to this
relationship today and forever. The question we have to ask ourselves is
whether we have fulfilled our part of this God-Human relationship. Are we
faithful towards Him, or are we building for ourselves a “better life” of
comfort at the expense of our faith? Perhaps we may succeed in achieving a more
comfortable life but will it be a truly blissful life? Or have we just
completed a magnificent sandcastle? Has physical comfort blinded us to the
threat of the rising tide? Luxury or poverty, abundance or lack, all will pass
away. The important thing is to live a life pleasing to God; always honouring the God-Human relationship and be contented with
the things God has given us.
During the period of the Judges,
there lived a person named Elimelech who took his
entire family to the land of Moab
because there was a famine in the land
of Judah. Though he was not
starving in Judah,
he sought refuge in a foreign land because he wanted a better life. He had
abundance (Ruth ) but went to
the land of the gentiles to search for more abundance. In the land
of Moab, his family did indeed
enjoy greater abundance but just for a few years. Tragedy soon struck. Elimelech passed away. His two sons who had married Moabite
women also died later (Ruth 1:1-5).
This is the end result of one who
constantly sought a better life of greater abundance, not contented with the
things God gave. Elimelech left Judah,
God’s promised land, for the land
of Moab that the Bible describes as
the land God hated. His search for a life of greater abundance ended in
tragedy. We must learn form the example of Elimelech.
In whatever circumstances we find ourselves, let us never depart from the
promises and presence of God. Let us keep ourselves in the grace ofGod all the days of our life, and lead a life truly
pleasing to Him. Only then are we fulfilling our part in the god-Human
Choices, Choices, Choices…. Which One?
The decision to become a Christian
and to remain faithful and committed to God is not the only decision one makes
n his entire life. However, it is this decision that will constitute the
principle in all the other choices that he should make.
The Moabite woman Ruth was given a
choice to either return to her people or follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Judah.
She chose to believe in the God of Israel and to be an Israelite. She elected
to go to Judah
to look after Naomi (Ruth ).
This turned out to be the wisest decision.
She yielded herself to the customs
and practices of the Israelites in the matter of redeeming back the land (Ruth
She was willing to humble herself
and to swallow her pride to glean in the fields so that she could support her
mother-in-law and herself.
She led a life of virtue (Ruth ) and sacrifice because of her commitment
to her initial decision to live in the land
of Judah with Naomi. Her decision
to make the God of Israel her God and the people as her people was the
principle for subsequent decisions through out her life.
Finally, God blessed Ruth
abundantly. She became an ancestress of King David (Ruth -22) and our Lord Jesus (Mt 1:5). Such is the blessing
awaiting one who is truly committed to her choice of faith. We must emulate
Ruth in her commitment and her spirit of sacrifice. We must allow our decision
of becoming a Christian form the guiding principle in other choices we make in
our life. If we understand why we became Christians and the Christian goals
that we should pursue, it is easy to make choices in our career, studies and
marriage that are consistent and pleasing in the eyes of God.
Are you at the cross-roads today,
wondering which path you should take? Brace up! Think about the ultimate goals
that we should be pursuing. Think about where you want to steer your life and
where you want to end up at the close. Then make the choice that is consistent
with these goals. Finally let us remain committed to our Lord. Let us not waver
from our wisest choice of becoming a Christian. Instead, we ought to rely on
Him constantly in whatever circumstances, always trusting in His deliverance
all the days of our life.