Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Making choices, Deuteronomy 30:19 with a story about Luciano Pavarotti, an Eleanor Roosevelt quote and an observation

SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)
This day I call heaven and 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

STORY from Guidepost:
"When I was a boy, my father, a baker, introduced me to the wonders of song," tenor Luciano Pavarotti relates. "He urged me to work very hard to develop my voice. Arrigo Pola, a professional tenor in my hometown of Modena, Italy, took me as a pupil. I also enrolled in a teachers college. On graduating, I asked my father, 'Shall I be a teacher or a singer?'

"'Luciano,' my father replied, 'if you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair.'

"I chose one. It took seven years of study and frustration before I made my first professional appearance. It took another seven to reach the Metropolitan Opera. And now I think whether it's laying bricks, writing a book--whatever we choose--we should give ourselves to it. Commitment, that's the key. Choose one chair."

QUOTE made by Tim Kimmel:
The words of Eleanor Roosevelt ring true: One's philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.

Eeney Meeney Miney Moe
Drawing straws
Flip a coin
Closing your eyes and pointing

No matter the method used, we each make choices everyday of our life. Some of the choices are earth shaking and life changing like picking a spouse, having children, getting an education, etc. While others are just the stuff of every day existence … in the long run they mean very little.

We are constantly making choices. And so it is with our faith. We chose each day who and what we are going to serve. This is moving the choice from the head to the heart. Only when our choice takes root in our heart that our life begins to change and positively or negatively effect those around us.

Many years ago, like back in the early 1970s, the philosophy of choice was making it through the halls of the church called Situational Ethics. Basically it said, the choice we make depends on the circumstances confronting us. The result was that individuals got confused because the foundation on which they were building their life on was fluid and always shifting. Situational Ethics was tried and found to fail, especially at the very fundamental issues of life.

The flip side to Situational Ethics is a rigidity that turns people off. This “my-way-or-the-highway” approach places the head above the heart and “thinking” ahead of people. The challenge for us all is to know what we believe, live out our life with conviction based on that belief and turn outward to others in love, mercy and a whole lot of grace. And in so doing, we ultimate shape ourselves and shape those who we meet along this journey.

We choose you this day, O Lord, help us to completely and totally commit ourselves to you and the cause of the Kingdom and in so doing, help us to love those around us who might be making different choices for their life. Amen

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