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Life is about choices, choose to follow the Lord

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. Joshua 24:1

What does the word “choice” mean? This is part of the definition from the Webster’s Dictionary of 1828. “It is the power of choosing, this implies the freedom to do so. The voluntary act of selecting that which is preferred. The determination of the mind in preferring one thing over another.” In the book of Genesis, Jacob chose Rachel over Leah. In Romans 9:13, we read how God chose (preferred) Jacob over Esau. If I can put it in my own words, “choice is a determination of the mind and will that affects the body through a purpose or desired goal with an ultimate end in mind.”

If you have picked up the newspaper, then you have made a choice (an act of the mind and will), your body has reacted to your desire, purpose, and goal. Now you have another choice, do I really want to read Lyn Stimeling’s column, or would I prefer the obituaries? Maybe I should turn to the sports section first. It might be a good idea to see if there is any news about our taxes going up in Juniata county, since the school board chose to spend millions of dollars on new construction that wasn’t necessary (in my opinion).

As we consider the human mind and it’s power to make decisions, at what age does that power or ability make itself evident? If we study the life of the unborn, we find they have the power, and ability to choose while they are still in the womb. One child may decide to suck it’s thumb, others make a choice not to. The child’s learning ability can be realized as parents play different types of music or say the alphabet.

Dr. C Everret Koop was a Surgeon General who chose to take a stand for the rights of the unborn. He made this statement, “In thirty-five years of medicine, I have never seen one case where abortion was necessary to save a mother’s life,” reference, Google, Quote Tab. I will try to relate another story as best I can remember. Dr Koop told the story of being present at an abortion. He watched as the baby chose to try and get away from the foreign object that was coming after it, he then made this comment; “There is one person in this room who is not in favor of this procedure. No, wait, there are two!” That unborn baby chose life by trying to preserve itself, but the people performing the procedure chose death.

The power of choice becomes very evident when a child enters the “terrible twos.” It seems to be a time period in a child’s life when the testing of boundaries and mischief seems to pervade. They begin to pull electrical cords out of the sockets, or stick something in the plug-in. They may try to put the cat in the commode, or stick a baby carrot up their own nose. They would rather play in all the kitchen cabinets rather than on the gym-set and play house in the back yard. When a parent says no to the child’s behavior, this seems to strengthen the child’s resolve to continue in complete defiance of their parents wishes. The total depravity of man seems to make itself rather obvious at an early age. We don’t teach our children to lie, disobey, or be rebellious, they come with that inclination from birth.

The depravity of man and his choice to rebel against God, can be seen in the garden of Eden through the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, there was a constant struggle between the people, Moses, and God. Most of God’s chosen people never made a choice to serve Him, the Creator God of the Hebrews. Their carcasses fell in the wilderness because of a lack of faith and trust in God. They lived and died, never reaching their destination (the promised land) because they were carnal, fulfilling the desires of the flesh. In Numbers 25:1 it says, “Then Israel remained in Acacia Grove (Shittim), and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab.” So the Lord sent a plague among them and killed twenty four thousand.

In contrast to the ungodly who died in the wilderness, God says this about Caleb. “Caleb, the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it (the promised land), and to him and his children I am giving the land on which he walked, because he wholly followed the Lord.” Joshua knew the wickedness and unbelief of most of the people; the reason they left Egypt was for their own good, what they could get out of it. What a contrast we see between Caleb and the rest of the Israelites.

Just as Joshua asked those people to make a choice, we must also make a choice. Are we going to play the hypocrite like most of the Jews who came out of Egypt? Or will we choose to follow the Lord, not just on Sunday, or when certain people are around, but every day? Comments or questions, contact me at: thoughtsonword@gmail.com.

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Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published three books, “Common Thoughts on The Word” in 2016 and “Eye of a Needle” in 2017 and “Common Thoughts on The Word II” in 2019. He has also had articles published in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.

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