This morning I am riding to Angola for a day long seminar with the residents who completed the Kairos weekend. Of the 40 something team members, about 10 of us have decided to go back. It’s not part of the original commitment. To go or not is a decision. There are lots of important things for me to do here and to decide to stay in town today would not necessarily have been a bad choice, just a different one. Because of the choice I made, my life will be different. Maybe just a tiny bit, but different.
Life is a series of choices. Nothing very deep there, but we need to think about that occasionally. If we could look back on our lives we would see a complex of connecting forks in the road. At any place we could have gone left, instead of right, and our lives would have been different. When we consider, and fervently believe, that God has a plan for our lives, we must acknowledge that He is a wonderfully complex God. He certainly has a lot of options to consider.
The blessing is that no matter how many lefts, that should have been rights, God will have the best for us when we do come around to His will. Most of those wrong turns occurred because when faced with a decision we “reacted” rather than “responded.”
A “reaction” is knee jerk, that thing we do when someone touches our shoulder unexpectedly. A “response” is considered with some thought and not just emotion. A situation when there is time, and more importantly, prayer that occurs after the triggering event and before our action. Prison is full of men and women who reacted. When threatened, they struck back. When hungry, they took what was available. When they saw something shiny, they grabbed it.
Reacting isn’t limited to criminals. It isn’t something we become aware of, and then give up as a bad idea. Every day we make decisions which fail to include proper contemplation. We often make a move with no thought to prayer. Is it any wonder that our lives end up so far from the path on which God would have us?
A closer walk with God makes wiser choices the more natural choices. His influence becomes significant in our decisions and, eventually, in the shape of our path. Since it’s all about choices, maybe we should pay a bit more attention to ours, in our quest for blessing.