"When thou saidst, seek my face; my heart said unto thee, thy face, LORD, will I seek." -Psalm 27:8

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

"The Choices We Make"

Monterey Bay
Pastor Young recently spoke about how everyday choices, that when looked back on, were the things that caused major and important changes in our lives.  Choices that just seemed mundane, routine, and of really no importance.  These are the things that perhaps make the largest contributions to our life.  Yep, I sure do agree.  Wonderful things can truly come from what seem to be "Non-events".   Makes you look at life a little differently, doesn't it?!?!

So, take a look at the above picture.  Pretend that life is that little path along the water in Monterey Bay.  We are walking through life on that path and we make choices.  Choices that really don't seem to much matter when we are making them.   Choices that bring us to the dark or choices that bring us to the beauty and light. These choices are ours to make.

 Let me tell you a story.  I was sitting in the Barracks at Pearl Harbor Hawaii way back in 1987.  I had a roommate that had a private phone and I never once picked up that phone the entire time I had roomed with him.  It was a Monday afternoon on July 13th, 1987 when the phone rang.  I don't know why.  I can't explain the reason I got up off the chair and went over and picked up the phone.  It makes no logical sense as to why I ever did it.  I never had before.  So, I picked up the phone and said hello.  It was a female voice on the other end.  She seemed very pleasant and she explained that she was selling coupon books for Oahu and wanted to know if I was interested.  Well, we started talking and she was a great sales person, but I explained to her that I just wasn't interested.  She seemed very nice, but I knew I would never really use the coupons.  I thanked her and gave her a pleasant, but fairly firm,  goodbye.  I hung up the phone and it struck me.  She seemed so nice, "why didn't you see if she might want to go out sometime", I asked myself.  Don't know why I thought that, but I did.  I thought, "boy you sure missed an opportunity". 

A little background might be helpful surrounding this matter. I was married, but in the process of going through a divorce and so I wasn't interested in anything lasting or long term, but just to be with someone who could go to the movies, out to eat, and just hang out for company.  I had been hurt so badly that I didn't want anybody to get too close to me and I felt that this would probably be the case for the rest of my life. You see, I had gotten married before because I was lonely, desperate to have someone in my life, and had made the choice, despite family members of hers saying, you may want to think twice about marrying her......Hmmmm.  But I was lonely, just had to have that important someone in my life,  to fill the void.  So, I had ignored them.  I had chosen to marry her, despite what they had said, and then the day of the wedding came.  As soon as, and I am not exaggerating, I said I do, she turned into one of the most mean spirited persons I have ever known in my life.  Life was miserable.  I had made a simple choice in this everyday life that didn't seem so important, that irrevocably changed my life for the next 6 years.  (You see, those choices you make that seem inconsequential can negatively change your life beyond anything you can imagine, just as the everyday good choices you make can change them for the miraculous, beyond anything you can imagine!)  See that path in the picture?  I had chosen to go off the path and made a turn into the black, ominous ocean.  Just a choice.  Hadn't seemed too important or too wrong at the time. 

So, back to the story. I thought, "Boy, it would have been great to have someone, just to do stuff with.  Oh well, I had hung up.  Wasn't meant to be I guess".......then the phone rang again.  I answered for the second time. (That phone I had never answered until that day.)  It was the "coupon lady" once again.  She had called the same number a second time.  (I later found out that she had misdialed the number the first time!)  So, I thought, ok, well, what will it hurt.  I will go ahead and ask her out.  (Oh, by the way, I am very shy, and never, ever had asked someone out that I hadn't at least met before.)  Well, she hesitated, wasn't really sure she could say yes, caution in her voice, but finally said it would be ok, as long as we could go out to a public location.  I said sure, would you like to go out to eat?  She said that would be fine and a week later, to the day,  I actually came to where she was staying and very nervously knocked on the door.  I had never ever done anything like this in my entire life.  I remember thinking how beautiful she was, how I would have never asked her out probably because someone like her would never have been interested in soemone like me.  But, here I was, and she seemed nice. So we went out to the Pearl City Chinese restaurant.  After a short time, I excused myself to have a cigarette and when I came back in the meal was there, but there were only chopsticks.  She explained that they didn't have silverware and that she would show me how to use the chopsticks.  I bumbled and struggled and thought I was going to starve.  She finally started laughing and told the waiter he could now bring me silverware.  "So, hmmmm, she has a funny side",  I said to myself,  "I think I like that".  We finished dinner and we then drove out to one of the military beaches on Oahu.    We had just been sitting there talking and we could see a lot of movement on the beach in the light of the moon.  We finally figured out that the movement was hundreds of little crabs scurrying all around us.  We both quickly got up, got back in my car, and then went to another beach close to my barracks where we could sit on a picinic table.  We talked until about 4:30 in the morning and I finally had to say, I have to work today and so I have to take you back to your place.  See that path in the picture.  I feel like I walked into the flowers and light that day.

Well, that was 26 years ago.  Yes, Robin and I have been together now for 26 years.  Our anniversary is right around the corner.  That phone call.  Her dialing the wrong number, twice.  Me picking up a phone that I never had picked up before, twice.  A small event in everyday life that has turned out to be one of the most important things in both of our lives.  We absolutely believe that this was an event arranged by God.  Just look at our lives now.  We have had things happen to us in the past 26 years that cause us to say we should not be around.  We should have died on several occasions.  But, God has arranged for us to be here.  We now belong to the Lord and we belong to a church that is incredibly anointed.  God orchestrated it all, just to bring us to where we are at, so that we can make a difference in this lost and dying world.  Thank you Jesus for giving me the love of my life.  I am so very blessed. 

Yep, choices we make that make long lasting changes in our lives.   How we choose to walk down the path.  Whether we turn to the right or turn to the left.  Whether we choose to take the strait and narrow path or take the path that is not.  Whether we make the right choices or the wrong ones.  Lord, please guide our steps, orchestrate our life.  Lord,  help us to do thy will.  Your will and not ours.  We can choose to have a life that is full of darkness or a life that is full of light.  He is a gentleman.  He doesn't tell us what we have to do.  He allows us to make our own decisions, ones that have consequences, both good and bad.  May God bless you and keep you. Listen to that still small voice........and make the right choices, no matter how small they seem.  Believe in Him because He is the only one that can give you this;

  "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."                                                                Philippians 4:7

Tuesday, July 2, 2013