Choices – they seem unending, especially at Christmas. The Scriptures can be our guide as we observe the way God chooses and the way he challenged others to choose. From the very beginning when Adam and Eve chose their own way over God’s provision, each person who has ever lived has faced that decision.
Martha, out of self-righteous frustration, reprimanded Jesus because he would not condemn her sister, Mary, for not helping her with chores. Jesus simply tried to help her understand that Mary, in choosing to simply sit in His Presence and internalize his every word ,had indeed chosen “the good part.” Mary chose the part that never goes away, never gets old – the part that is eternal.
The rich young man expected a quick, easy answer from Jesus. He needed to know how to inherit eternal life. He could not imagine that inheriting eternal life could be any more challenging than inheriting his father’s wealth. But Jesus told him he would have to make a choice between what the world could give and what God could give. The rich young man chose the part that goes away – the part that is temporary.
The Christmas narratives portray God’s nature by the choices He made.
- God chose a teenage peasant girl, not a daughter of a ruling Pharisee.
- God chose a carpenter, not a king.
- God chose Nazareth, not Jerusalem.
- God chose a stable, not a palace.
- God chose a feeding trough, not an ornate cradle.
- God chose shepherds, not rabbis.
- God chose to show his star to Gentiles, not Jewish royalty.
- God chose poverty, not wealth.
- God chose humility, not position.
- God chose service, not recognition
- God chose earth, not heaven.
This Advent, this season of endless options, is a perfect time to evaluate our decisions, to align our choices with the eternal and holy and divine. Jesus told us that a good person with a heart full of good treasure makes good choices, lives a good life, recognizes holiness, and lives in the Kingdom of God. He told us that choices reveal our souls, our decisions come from what dominates our hearts, and our lives mirror the Master that controls them.
A Prayer About Choices
O God, you know that today-or very soon-I must make a decision which is going to affect my whole life.
Help me to choose rightly-and to choose the right way.
Grant me your guidance, and with it grant me the humble obedience to accept it.
Help me not necessarily to choose what I want to do, but what you want me to do.
Grant that I may not be swayed solely by fear or by hope of gain, by selfish love of ease or comfort or by personal ambition, by the desire to escape or by longing for prestige.
Help me today in humble obedience to say to you, “Lord, what will you have me to do?” and then await your guidance, and accept your leading.
Hear this prayer of mine and send an answer so clear that I cannot mistake it.
This I ask for your love’s sake!