Harry walked over to his preacher after services, “You know, I am really stuck in a quandary I would like to attend church next week but I just can’t miss the big game next Sunday, it’s just out of the question.”
“Oh Harry, Harry, Harry,” said the preacher, putting his arm around Harry’s shoulder, “don’t you know? that’s what recorders are for.” Harry’s face lit up ‘you mean I could record your sermon?’”
Life is about choices, isn’t it? Sometime they are easy choices, sometimes, not so easy. Sometimes the easy choices are like, what to wear, or what to eat, everyday choices. Then there are other choices about what takes priority in our lives. It seems to me that most of the time it is really about values, morals or ethics, those are the things on which out choices are based. Of course it is not a new idea with which to struggle in our lives is it?
1 Kings 18 we read about the test between Elijah and the priests of Baal. In Verse 21 we read, “Elijah went there and stood in front of the people. He said, “How long will it take you to make up your minds? If the Lord is the one and only God, worship him. But if Baal is the one and only God, worship him. The people didn’t say anything.” (NIRV)
Someone paraphrased that happening in this way, “Elijah (approaching the people) said: How much longer will you sit on the fence, refusing to make a decision between the Lord and Baal? If you believe the Eternal One is the True God, then devote yourselves entirely to Him. If you believe Baal is your master, then devote yourselves entirely to him. All the people who were gathered together atop Mount Carmel were completely silent. They didn’t know what to say to this.”
Why were the people silent? I think it was perhaps because they had never been challenged to make a choice like this before. Yet, as we view it from 21st century eyes, the choice seems apparent doesn’t it? We can readily understand they had just encountered a challenge and God won hands down. So why would they hesitate (figuratively sitting on a fence) between serving God or the “NO GOD”… Baal?
I can’t answer that for sure, but perhaps it was because their value system, their code of morals and ethics, were out of sync with God and his commandments. Maybe they had been raised to value the wrong things.
Could it be that we do the same thing? At the risk of angering some I will ask, Could we put more value on a sporting event, or something else, than on a Spiritual event? You don’t have to justify your choices to me, but one day you will answer to God. John records these words for us, “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books”. (Revelation 21:12)
So in the end, “It’s all about choices,” isn’t it?
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.