In case you missed it, the TV show, American Idol is immensely popular. I read that the final performances of Scotty and Lauren (aren’t you impressed that I know their names?) drew about 20 million viewers. And those viewers made some significant choices-122 million choices to be precise! That works out to be about 6 votes per viewer.
This article is not about the merits of watching a TV show that showcases young singing talent. I was just struck by the sheer number of people who took time to make a choice, a choice that for many of them was significant.
It got me to thinking about how many choices you and I make every day. One author suggested that we are bombarded with some 10,000 persuasive messages every day. Another suggested that you and I have some 3,000 separate thoughts every day. Presumably many of those thoughts require us to make some kind of choice.
By definition, a choice is “the mental process of judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one of them.” We make choices based on habits, heritage, traditions, preferences, social pressures and a whole lot of others things. Executives might use “decision making” charts, or decision wheels. Kids might consult the silly Magic 8-Ball. Many of us use lists of “pros” and “cons” to help drive our decision making.
However we arrive at those “forks in the road,” making decisions is a normal part of every day life.
Of course, the Lord knows how we operate and that is why He framed up two important events in the Old Testament to highlight the importance of good decision making. The first one occurs in Deuteronomy 30, just before the children of Israel went into the Promised Land. Moses focused their thoughts on the Sovereign God with these words, “See, I set before you today, life and prosperity, death and destruction.” A clear choice, serve the Lord and God will bless you in the land or turn your heart away from Him and you will be destroyed. Sounds harsh, but really it is just a very clear choice.
About thirty years later, Joshua returns Israel’s focus back to that same choice. “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness…” but if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourself this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
On the one hand, obedience yields blessing. On the other hand, disobedience yields discipline and that discipline “hurts.” You and I make those kinds of decisions every day: right or wrong, bless or curse, hope or despair, blame or forgive, anger or acceptance, cheerfulness or pouting, try or give up, fear or trust.
This week, let’s try and use most of those 3000 thoughts a day on making good choices… choices that please the Lord and bring blessing!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel