Lesson One: It all Comes Down to Choices

Deuteronomy 30:19

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

It was the final step in the process. We made it through the funeral arrangements, the graveside and the memorial service. This would be our final trip to Garden of Memories for arrangements for my husband, Cliff. His sweet mother went with me to the funeral home to approve the headstone for his grave.

Before we headed over, I met my friend Melody and traded cars with her so that we didn’t have to move Lucas’ car seat and she took the boys. Kay, my mother-in-law, and I headed to the funeral home. We were able to make it through that last step with the little emotional energy we had left.

We walked silently out to Melody’s car parked in the reserved parking close to the front of the funeral home. Thankful for Kay’s support I smiled at her as she walked around to the other side of the car. Hurrying to unlock the car I put the key in the driver’s side door. This simple action created a chain of events that in retrospect are humorous but at the time were anything but humorous. As soon as I tried to open the door to Melody’s car the alarm began going off. This is a bit disconcerting alone but coupled with the fact that we were less than thirty feet away from a graveside service IN PROGRESS it became a full fledge crisis. Kay began pacing around the car and I was ineffectively trying to punch in the code that Melody was screaming to me in the phone over the piercing car alarm. The grieving family had stopped the service to watch us address the alarm crisis. Finally God had mercy on me and sent a kind stranger to talk to Melody on the phone and get the car code to disarm the alarm. There are no words to describe the silence that came after the alarm was finally disarmed. The grieving family collectively turned back to the graveside and the pastor picked up where he left off.

This is the point in my story that I make a VERY bad choice. I am left standing by the now quiet car and have to decide what to do next. Not understanding the nature of car alarms was a definite handicap in my decision-making process. I felt that since trying to open the driver’s side car door was what triggered the original alarm, I would outsmart the car. I made Kay climb out of the passenger side of the car and let me climb in my dress over the console to get to the driver’s seat. Pleased with my plan, I finally made it to my seat and allowed Kay to climb back in her seat. As soon as I put the key into the ignition, the alarm started again. I turned to get help and advice from Kay only to find that she had laid her seat back as far as possible and was doing her best to hide from the mourning family across the way. We were eventually able to start the car and leave the area. I am truly sorry for the interruption I caused that family by my poor choice.

Choices are never easy and always cause consequences. But, oh how precious is the principle that God allows us the freedom to make choices. In Deuteronomy 30:19 God says, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”

Isn’t Scripture great? It tells us that we have a choice between life and death and blessing and cursing…. THEREFORE (this is the KJV version of DUHHHHH) choose life! We have been given the freedom to choose. We are not victims. When we accept that we can make different choices it empowers us to make changes. Those changes give us the ability to impact our lives. WE control our response to the circumstances. We have a choice.

When trials or difficult times come our way, let’s choose to turn to God and have faith. When failure has marred our life, we can choose to move forward and learn from those mistakes. When we are given life-changing news, realize we get to choose how we respond. We have the ability to choose and impact not only ourself but those around us.

Lesson number one was one we all began to learn during Cliff’s illness and continue to learn each day with new circumstances. It all comes down to choices. We can’t control what happens but we can control how we respond. Each day Larry and I beg God to empower us to continue to choose faith. What will you choose?

Link to prologue post: http://wp.me/pFsxL-1z

Still choosing faith!