Choices

?Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord? (Joshua 24:14-15).
Yesterday I went to Khulna with Juliet Halder and watched as she selected a gift for her husband?s grandmother, who is visiting with them. She wanted to purchase a Sari, which is the traditional dress of Bangla (and South Asian) women. It is a single long piece of brightly colored fabric that is wrapped around the body, with the end brought over the shoulder and used as a scarf. I commented as she held up one after another, ?They are all pretty, how do you choose just one.? The color and design combinations seem infinite, and almost any one would be fine; there is little to base judgment on, at least to a male ?outsider?.
Life has been defined as the process of making choices. Everything we do breaks down to decisions. What to eat, what to wear, where to go, what songs to listen to, whom to visit, etc., etc. Some choices are insignificant. Later yesterday we went to the food markets and stood at a counter inspecting fifteen or more baskets of rice. Each basket contained a different variety or grade, each offered at a different price. The local ladies are quite particular in their choices, considering taste, smell and texture, as well as cost. Yet, the difference is actually slight, and any grade is adequate for most needs. I am unlikely to be able to tell which variety I am eating, and certainly after I have finished it makes no difference which it was.
Other choices are vital, however. A nation?s selection of leadership alters history, and affects the wellbeing of millions. Further, it can determine the likelihood of peace in the world. The medicine a doctor prescribes may have the power to heal; taken in inappropriate dosage, it can kill. One?s choice of education or employment can influence prosperity, accomplishment and happiness for a lifetime, or even for generations.
No choice is as important as that made by Joshua. Who is God? Whom do we serve? That is to ask concerning our very foundations of life. What is important? Upon what view of truth will I make all decisions and determine all actions? What will be my priorities? How and whom will I worship? If God is, and if our response to him determines not only success in this life, but eternal destiny, then the wrong choice is the worst of all conceivable disasters. On the other hand, choosing wisely guarantees our wellbeing. The choice is ours. Let us choose today to serve the Lord!

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Michael Brooks

Since 1988 Mike and his wife Brenda have been involved in foreign missions in South America, Africa, and South Asia. Beginning in 1999 they devoted full time to missions, primarily in Bangladesh and Nepal.

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