Do our choices matter?

You, Lord, are my choice, and I will obey you. With all my heart I beg you to be kind to me, just as you have promised. I pay careful attention as you lead me, and I follow closely. As soon as you command, I do what you say. Evil people may set a trap, but I obey your Law. Your laws are so fair that I wake up and praise you in the middle of the night. I choose as my friends everyone who worships you and follows your teachings. Our Lord, your love is seen all over the world. Teach me your laws. (Psalm 119:57-64)

The concept of choice is all around us. With so many choices existing today, no wonder we have such a hard time deciding things on occasion. Nothing is harder than making selections when you have so many choices, even when we know exactly what we want. Isn't it good to know the choices in terms of our salvation and daily existence are clear - there is but ONE way to God and that is through his Son, Jesus. There is but ONE God we must obey. There is but ONE God who asks for our worship. Don't get me wrong - the world puts a whole lot of choices out there for us - but there is only ONE correct choice! All others are "look alike" choices, but they just aren't the real deal!

When we make God our first and ONLY choice, the natural outcome is the desire to obey what he asks of us. It may seem a little contrary to what comes naturally to us, and that is because it is contrary to our tendency to look for the "variety" in choices we have all around us. God's way is clearly marked out, and it is a pretty defined way - one way in, one way to stay on course, one way to our destination - eternity spent in his presence. The idea of obedience is more than just doing what you are asked, though. It is doing what you know to be right - even when no one is asking or watching!

Obedience begins in being careful to direct our attention away from all which distracts us and maintaining our focus. Sometimes we need to rely upon "running the list" in our minds a little in order to focus on the stuff God wants us to keep in the forefront of our minds. What is in the forefront is often what we give focus to - so figuring out how to keep what he wants there and limiting the input he doesn't is paramount to obedience. Obedience is aided by those we select as companions in our journey. When we choose friends wisely, the journey is made easier. Why? The choices also concern them - they want to make the right choices, as well. We act as "reminders" to each other as to the determination to make the right choices. Maybe this is why so many groups exist to help people stay "focused" on their goals such as losing weight as a member of Weight Watchers, staying sober as a part of an AA group, or even staying physically fit by being part of a spinning class.

What do we choose to get into our minds? God's plan is for us to be rightly related to him first, rightly related to others second, and then to allow the Word to get into us so we know how to live "right" within our relationships. You will always hear me commenting about the importance of getting the Word of God into our lives. It is the ONE thing which will help us maintain focus and be there when we are faced with choices to veer off-course. It is the ONE thing which can settle the troubled mind. It is the ONE thing which can guide our decision-making when so many choices exist for us in this world today. Obedience is a matter of choice. Choice is a matter of clarity - knowing our focus. Have the right focus - make the right choices. Just sayin!

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