Sunday, August 06, 2017

Choices Overload? – Choose Wisely

Imagine you’re at the coffee shop counter.
“What can I get you, today?” asks the clerk. You’re confronted with a choice of regular or decaf or any one of a great array of specialty coffees. You decide and inform the clerk (more pretentiously, the barista), who then asks, “What would you like in it?” Sugar? How much?  None? Sure. Cream or milk or black? Did you say “double-double?”
My wife or I place our order, plain and simple: Two small coffees, both with double milk.
Source: Google Free
Later in the day our order would be for decaf coffees. The establishment offers numerous other choices, such as: baked-good treats – donuts, bagels, cream-filled fancies or soft or crunchy cookies – more decisions! There are options for paying, too – with gift card, loyalty card, cash or debit.

Being alive and living forces choice-making on us from the time we roll out of bed in the morning till we climb back in. A well-stocked wardrobe presents its own challenges: What shirt will I wear today? What colour of socks and tie . . . ? A lady may be concerned about what shade of tights, makeup and accessories will contrast or conflict with – or complement – her pants or skirt and top. It would’ve been easier in the good ol’ days when many of us had only one or two pairs of pants and a couple of shirts or blouses.
What should we have for breakfast, lunch and dinner? – And the decision-making goes on. If oatmeal is all you can afford and the only cereal you have, the breakfast choice is quite simple.
Leaving UK for Canada 43 years ago.
Two young boys and one-on-the-way.
Mum looks at peace; Dad looks glum.
They have long since gone to be with the Lord.
Our Canadian 'Adventure' continues.
CHOICES continue, too! ~~+~~

Options and choice overload – it’s hard to know whether we’re coming or going. Choices in life are not always between the good and the bad. They can be between the good and better or between what’s not so bad and what might be much worse.
I recall in my teens that I had made some less-than-good choices and had gotten in with some youngsters who were not following what I knew to be “the better way.” 

Thank God I wasn’t too far down that track before I realised that this wasn’t “me.” Basically, I said, “This is not who I am.” I had a choice to make: Go through the religious motions and live on the periphery of what only looked like a Christian life, or turn my back and walk away from Jesus altogether – something I was not prepared to do.

And so, there was another avenue: Embrace and pursue the kind of life that in my heart of hearts I knew fitted the higher call that was on my life. At the time I had no idea that I would come to Canada and serve in pastoral ministry for decades and be writing to you, as I’m doing just now. However, I reckoned I’d be involved in gospel and sacred music – as I had been since my childhood.
I began to refocus my life on the Lord and chose to live in the light of His grace, seeking His help in putting into practise the lessons I was learning along the way – one day at a time. The song bearing that title, “One Day at a Time”* has, I’m sure, inspired many to choose wisely and raise their gaze and keep their feet on ‘the better way’!

One day at a time sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m asking from you
Just give me the strength, to do everyday what I have to do.
Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus, and tomorrow may never be mine
Lord help me today, show me the way one day at a time.*
*Authors: Marijohn Wilkin; Kris Kristofferson

Peter A. Black is a retired pastor – well, sort of – and lives in Southwestern Ontario. He writes a weekly inspirational newspaper column, P-Pep! and is author of Raise Your Gaze ... Mindful Musings of a Grateful Heart, and Parables from the Pond. ~~+~~

1 comment:

Glynis said...

Ya'll know you have me singing now, Peter. But not a bad song to have playing over and over in my head!
Thanks be to God that you made the right choice years ago and we get to be the beneficiaries of your ministry. Thanks for acknowledging the crazy 'choice-filled' world we live in and how the better choice always a 'triple' - Father, Son & Holy Spirit!
Nice post ...

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