Thursday, June 22, 2006

Choices

A lawyer was reading a departed millionaire’s will to the only heir, his nephew John. The lawyer held his two fists out in front of him and said, “According to your uncle’s instructions, your inheritance will depend on choices that you must make. Do you choose my right hand or my left hand?”


John decided to choose the right hand. The lawyer opened his left hand to reveal a gold coin and a silver coin. “Had you chosen this hand,” he said, “you would have received a substantial share either in a gold mine or a silver mine in Chile.” Then he opened his right hand to reveal a nut and a coffee bean. “These represent a million dollars’ worth of nuts or coffee from Brazil,” said the lawyer. “Which do you choose?” John decided on the nuts. John was on a flight to Brazil when a fire destroyed the huge warehouse where the nuts were stored. Since it was uninsured, he lost everything. Then, to top it all, coffee prices doubled.

He barely had enough for his airfare home. On his way home, the plane had an engine problem. They have to abandon it. John jumped from the plane and then he pulled the rip cord of his parachute. It was rusty, and the wire pulled loose. He pulled the rip cord of the reserve. The chute opened, but its lines snapped. In desperation poor John cried out, “St. Francis, save me!” Suddenly a great hand reached down from Heaven, seized John’s wrist and let him dangle in midair. Then a gentle voice asked, “St. Francis Xavier or St. Francis of Assisi?”

Seriously, life is a series of choices. Ellen and I tell our kids, “The decisions you make, big or small, either draws you closer or farther from God.” But the Bible assures us that we need not make decisions on our own. “Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, The Message) Usually we ask God at the end after making a decision. But, God should have not only the last word but also the first and every word in between.

But, in all the choices we make, the most important is our decision to know Christ, not just to know about Him but to know the Lord in an intimate way. As the apostle Paul wrote, “Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him.” (Philippians 3:8-9a, Contemporary English Version)

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