LESSONS FROM A LITTLE RED HEADED GIRL
CHOICES, ALL ABOUT CHOICES
My husband and I had the privilege of ministering in what could be called the “hood”. It would be an understatement to say that we met some very interesting people – people, who we became very close with. Amongst these people there was young lady who had lived on the river bottoms for over nine years. She had endured the strongest of storms with no electricity or plumbing; she knew what it meant to be by herself, afraid, alone and hungry; and what it meant to be at the mercy of the kindness of others. When we left the pastorate she was going on thirteen and had turned into quite the young lady-a precious soul who would give you the shirt off her back. If anyone had a reason to complain or give up, she did. She chose another route. She had a goal – to use education as a tool to get out of her situation. She used to come to my office and show me her report card: “PJ, look… only two Bs – I’ll get straight As next time,” She told me she didn’t care what it took, she was going to do good. A lot of times after school she would blow into my office; by pass me, go to the kitchen and grab something to eat-grinning back at me like she was getting away with something. I’d listen to her stories; tell her I loved her and that she was special. She’d say, “I know! I’m your favorite!” I’d say, “You are?” She’d say, with a smile that would melt the hardest of hearts, “Why of course, I know you love me!” And she was right, I did – still do. So why am I telling you her story? What do I want us to get from the story of my precious friend? I want us to see the power of choice!
She could have chosen self pity or an attitude of defiance against the world. She could have chosen to not reach out and to never trust anyone. She could have said, “Why try, its not going to do any good anyways!” She could have chosen to use her situation as a crutch, an excuse to excuse bad behavior, but she didn’t. It is all about choice! This world can take a lot away from us, but NO ONE or NOTHING can take away our power to choose. I love what Joshua said, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15b Serving the Lord is a choice-a choice only we can make! Growing in the Lord is also a conscious choice. We don’t grow by accident. We choose whether or not to hold onto things that keep us stunted in our walks-things like unforgiveness, bitterness, and doubt. We choose how much time we spend time in prayer and in the Word! We choose who we fellowship with-those who lift us up or those who draw us away from the Lord. We choose what we allow past our eye and ear gates and what we let into our hearts. We choose to either speak life or death with our tongues.
The list could go on, but I think we get the message: Choice, its all about choice! With every choice there are consequences. And there is one more very sobering truth about choice: Our choices today can and do have eternal consequences. I don’t believe anyone wants to go to Hell, but they will. Not choosing Jesus is a choice! I also don’t believe that there isn’t a one of us who wants to see anyone burn in Hell, BUT, what are we CHOOSING to do about it? I need to ask myself: am I choosing to take every opportunity to share the love of Christ? Is my lifestyle a lifestyle of evangelism? Or am I so caught up in “my stuff” that I miss out on opportunities to share His incredible love. My choice! My question to me, to you, “what do I need to do about my choices?”