Our weather this week has certainly been interesting. We have all either heard it said or have said it ourselves. “If you don’t like our weather, wait five minutes.” This week has personified that weather change at times. Monday couldn’t have been nicer. It was warm, sunny, and no wind. Tuesday both started and ended with the sunny, but the warm and no wind was fictional. We even had some pretty snow showers in between clear and sunny moments. As my wife and I were discussing the changes and expectations in our weather, I began to wonder. How many other things that we have absolutely no control over do we complain about?
As I pondered that list that was growing in my head, I decided to shorten it considerably. I decided to make a list of things that we do have control over. That list is very short and is controlled by only one variable — me. I can change only one person — me. I can change only one attitude — mine. We may have influence over other factors and people, but we only have the power to change one — us.
When we were created, when we were knit together in our mothers’ wombs, we were all endowed with one power that no other creatures were given. We were given the power of choice. We could use this power for good or for evil. We could use this power to build or destroy. We could use this power for only ourselves, or we could use this power to help others. It is ours to do with as we choose.
We wake up in the morning and face our first choice — do I get up or stay in bed? That choice affects many areas of our lives. It affects “do I eat?” It affects “do I want to keep my job?” It affects others around me. But it is still my choice.
Many of the choices we make affect short-term situations. Things like “what do I eat?” or “what do I wear?” are all short-term choices. Some of those choices affect not only short term, but also the long term. Every day we are faced with the same choice that affects not only that day, but even our eternity. What choice is that? It is the same choice that Joshua gave to the people of Israel after they had conquered and divided up the promised land. “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, … but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” That one choice affects every other choice we will ever make. But that choice must be made every day.
Jesus instructed us to “take up your own cross daily and follow me.” It’s a daily choice that we must make.
Our lives in this island paradise are as secure as our ability to continue to choose to live here and to draw our next breath. Our lives in his paradise depend upon the choice we make each day to serve him.