The Valley Of Decision


Preacher’s Point
By Pastor Timothy Johnson

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” — Joel 3:14.

We make millions of choices throughout our lives. Some decisions are relatively insignificant. Examples — What color shirt do I wear today? Will breakfast be toast or a bowl of cereal? Do I trade Boardwalk for New York and Tennessee?

Other decisions will affect the rest of our lives. Examples of life-changing decisions are the choice of a job and our spouse.

One decision changes our life and eternity and is the one Joel is speaking of above — What do we do with Jesus Christ?

Last week’s column — “Our COVID Journey” — has led to many emails; nearly all correspondence has asked me if we were vaccinated.

Before I answer that specific question, I will give an update on our condition. My biggest problem is fatigue. Jennifer is back to work and appears normal. Julie is still on oxygen. The doctor explained the oxygen could last as long as two months. She also has fatigue, but, understandably, much worse than mine. The doctor told us since COVID has only been around for about a year and a half, the medical world is just learning about the long-term side effects of the disease. She told us fatigue is an issue many patience experiences for a year or more. Not something we wanted to hear.

Now back to the vaccination question.

None of the four primary characters in last week’s column were vaccinated. I did mention my oldest son, who had COVID earlier this year and now has permanent lung damage. He was vaccinated, then tested positive three days later.

I know our decision not to vaccinate will bring ridicule from some. I cannot speak for the four of us, but I will explain my choice.

I am not against anyone taking any vaccine, but I do believe it is their choice.

When it comes to the COVID vaccine, the information is so mixed. Even those recommending the shot give different opinions.

By taking the shot, you are protecting others, yet even after getting the vaccination, you can still get the disease. So I ask, How can me receiving the jab protect others when it does not totally protect me? Also, does a vaccine work if I can still get the disease?

If you receive the vaccine, you can still get the disease, but your condition will not be as severe as it would have been if you had not taken the shot. Would this be more dangerous for those around us? If a person takes the vaccination and contracts COVID, but now because he is vaccinated, he is asymptomatic. Because he has no symptoms, he will walk among other people, not knowing he is passing the disease around.

Then there are the many medical professionals that are shouting from the mountain tops about the side effects. I am not saying those proclaiming problems with the vaccine are correct, but my biggest concern is how quickly they are silenced. It has been my experience in life when Person A is swiftly silenced, usually, it is because Person B wants the message squashed, not that the content is unreliable. The dismissing of conflicting opinions is a significant concern.

Long story short, I have not taken the vaccine because I do not know who to believe.

Since Julie has left the hospital, we are still receiving conflicting advice on the vaccine. We have asked several medical professionals about taking the vaccine now that we have had the virus.

Here are the answers we have received:

“You should probably wait for at least 90 days.”

“You have natural antibodies now, but we have no idea how long they will last or how strong they are. You should probably get vaccinated sometime down the road. Have an antibody test before you do.”

“Now that you have had the virus, you are better protected than if you had taken the vaccine. You probably never need to take it.”

As you can see, the answers vary. I do not want to make my medical decisions by throwing all the doctor’s opinions into a hat, closing my eyes, and drawing one out.

You may read this column, roll your eyes and say, “This guy is an idiot.” Someone else may read the above explanation and say, “This makes sense to me.”

In the long run, my opinion of the vaccine is of no consequence on whether you receive the vaccine or not. It is your choice.

If you have read my column in the past, you know I am a clergy member. There are millions of more opinions about God and religion than there are of the vaccine. Regardless of the subject matter, all of us are entitled to our opinions, and all of us are entitled to proclaim our views.

All of us will make our decisions based on our life experiences, the information we have received, and the previous opinions we have formed. Over time, our opinions may change, therefore changing the choices we make in the future.

When someone else dictates your decisions, the right of just having an opinion is now lost because your opinion no longer matters. The freedom of speech is lost because if your opinion no longer matters, your voice has no reason to be heard.

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” — Joel 3:14.

Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County, Indiana. Webpage:; email: [email protected]; address: 410 S. Jefferson St. Rockville IN 47872; all Bible references KJV. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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