23 Nov The Power Of Choice
It was a beautiful summer’s day and my childhood buddy Pete had come to stay with me – we thought it would be great to head for the Norfolk coast. I made the choice that, rather than travel in my friends car, we would go in my new car (Mazda 525 – twin turbo injection!) It went like a rocket and I couldn’t wait to try it out!
A couple of hours later we took a left turn signposted ‘beach‘ and headed off down a narrow asphalt track. I have to admit I was going a little too fast when the asphalt suddenly became gravel and all I can remember next is the concrete fence posts hitting the front of the car one after the other as we heading down an embankment just avoiding a caravan. My car was a write off (I received just £12 for it from the local scrapyard) and we had to walk home! A day to forget and all based on my choice to travel in my car rather than my friend’s!
We’ve all made choices – some good, some bad and some plain ugly!
Forbes magazine recently reported that in 1977 20th Century Fox signed off all product merchandising rights to George Lucas for all and any Star Wars films for a $20000 reduction in his studio pay check. It is estimated that this amounts to $3 billion dollars and is growing annually! That was a bad choice (unless you’re George Lucas!)
The hardest thing is realising that, by and large, our lives right now are the sum total of the choices we have made.
‘We are our choices.’ (Jean Paul Sartre)
There will be some areas of your life that you love and some that you possibly even despise or struggle with and others where you think – ‘How did I end up in this situation?!’ We all have regrets – you’re not alone!
There Are Some Major Choices To Make!
It’s a matter of fact that most of the life determining choices we make come when we’re young and inexperienced at ‘doing life.’ These include where we will study & what, careers, relationships, husbands & wives, where we will live, what we spend our money, what our goals are and whether we choose to follow Christ or not. Choices, choices, choices….
‘We are our choices.’
You Have The Power Of Choice!
I can remember my children used to blame each other when we were telling them off for something they had done and the excuse would be ‘she made me do it!’ Truth is, as adults, we have freedom to choose. God has given us all free will. Once you realise this you can make different decisions that will yield different results.
Every day you get to choose!!
In the Old Testament – God speaks to Israel through Moses and lays everything out for them. God knew what was best and encouraged them to follow His design for life and then they would be happy, contented and prosperous. He concludes by saying:
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
I want to encourage you today to make the right choices. The best choices are the choices that God blesses. You know what? It’s never too late to start! I wonder what you need to choose to change right now? Don’t wait until Jan 1st – make a start now. We are the sum total of our choices!
The small incremental choices make a difference over time – they add up both positively and negatively! For instance – I love Digestive biscuits and eating one a day with a nice cup of English tea is not going to do me much harm but if I started eating 5-6 or more a day I would start to gain weight and begin to regret my ill discipline!
Saving £10 per month might not sound like a lot of money but over 25 years could become a nice little nest egg. If you increased that to £50 per month for thirty years you would have a £25,000 treasure chest – imagine what you could do with that?
Exercising for 30 minutes 2-3 times a week will transform your health & fitness and improve your stamina and energy levels. It will also give you the chance of living longer. When are you going to make the choice to invest in your own body?
Reading the Bible every day and spending regular time with God has transformed almost every facet of my life and ministry. Praying for a short time every day will transform your life. Have you learned how to yet. This article will help Kickstart Your Prayer Life. ‘Nothing will benefit you more than prayer!’ Prayer changes things.
Wisdom suggests that even the smallest decisions can have massively beneficial long term impacts. You can begin to transform your life by making small incremental choices each day which will make a massive difference to your life.
What choices could you make in your life right now spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally and in your family, finances or home life that could have a compound effect over the years….
Time For A Change?
If you want your life to be different or if you want to see different results – then maybe you need to make some different choices. You have the power of choice! Sometimes the smallest decisions can change your life forever.
The top scoring footballer in the English Premier League right now is Jamie Vardy. He plays for Leicester City who are the team I support. Jamie has just equalled the record for scoring in ten consecutive games. What few people realise is that Jamie gave up football for eight months after being released by Sheffield Wednesday as a young player. He decided to focus on other things. His friend asked him to come for a ‘kick around’ on a Sunday. He was immediately spotted by a scout and came to Leicester through the non league system. He has recently played for England.
It’s amazing how our lives can change as a result of a simple choice. Imagine what Jamie Vardy would have missed had he said ‘No’ to his friend?! I’m wondering right now if anyone reading this has said ‘No’ to an opportunity that they should have said ‘Yes’ to. Maybe it’s time to re-visit that.
‘We are our choices.’
How Do You Make The Right Choices?
You make a decision to:
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways to acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight’ (Prov. 3:5-6)
Whenever I’m making a big choice I will always soak the matter in prayer and allow God plenty of time to speak. I find He’s more than capable of guiding me through lots of different mediums and I’ve learned not to make the choice until I’m absolutely sure that I’ve heard from Him. I look for that special peace that He brings to a situation when you’re in the right place and your decision is good.
What If You’ve Made A Bad Choice?
Is it the end when you’ve failed, let others down and are ashamed of your past?!
Remember King David – He slept with another man’s wife and then had her husband killed in battle. A murderer and an adulterer! David wrote one of the most beautiful Psalms which is a reflection of what he had done. I love the way The Message translates it.
“Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I’ve been; my sins are staring me down.
You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I’ve been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you’re after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don’t look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from grey exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; I’ll let loose with your praise.” (Psalm 51:1-15 MSG)
He is the God who forgives, wipes the slate clean and restores us. There is nothing that you could have done that God cannot forgive.
You say ‘Yeah but that’s easy for you to say – you don’t know what I’ve done!’
But God does – and He promises to forgive and give you a new start. Naturally, like David, we have to live with the consequences of our choices. But our life isn’t over – God’s forgiveness and restoration means that He will still bless us and use us. David went on to do some amazing things for God to the extent that God was willing for Jesus to be associate/identified with David:
“This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matthew 1:1)
Jesus was willing to be associate/identified with David – the murderer and adulterer and let me tell you – no matter what you have done…..He loves you and He is willing to be your brother and friend.
The Greatest Choice Is The One To Follow Jesus
When I made that choice as a child to put my trust in God – it proved to be the best choice I ever made! Can I encourage you to make that choice today or at the very least to explore the Christian faith for yourself. I recommend this excellent website to start exploring.
If you’ve enjoyed this post you might like to check out my book entitled ‘Imagine’ that is all about trusting God based on the amazing promise in Proverbs 3:5-6. Imagine is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and other major book sellers worldwide.
One recent Amazon reviewer said, “This is an incredibly powerful book written as if the author is chatting to you about his own life, struggles and experiences during his ongoing walk with God. It is a very real and honest book with bible verses to back up what the author is sharing about. Personally this book is having a big impact on me and my faith in God. I would recommend to anyone to buy this book if you want to deepen your relationship with God at whatever stage you are in your walk. Imagine the impact this book could have on your life….”
Another reviewer said ‘A wonderful story of faith and dedication overcoming all obstacles. Full of practical advise and wise instruction. The book invites the reader to ‘dream dreams’ and to live out vision with tenacity and determination. A good hearty read.’ (Pastor Paul Hallam)