Sweet Shore

I was almost to work today and had to turn the car around and hightail it home due to extreme nausea.  Fortunately, I made it back to the house before I actually lost it all (literally).  It’s a good thing, too, because the last leg of my trip was on the freeway, and I’m not sure how one handles throwing up at 70 mph.

Actually, when I think about it, getting on the freeway was not a smart move.  I could have driven the rest of the way home on surface streets, but was trying to avoid school traffic and get here faster…so I took a chance.

Makes me think about the snap decisions I make sometimes.  They are not always based on the best criteria–deciding to buy donuts on my way to work is a good example.  I certainly don’t need to eat donuts (who does?), and I don’t feel particularly peppy for the rest of the day, but I can still talk myself into stopping and grabbing a couple because I like the momentary pleasure of the way they taste.

I always have a decision to make when I get home from work–do I climb into my recliner, turn on the TV and zone out for the rest of the evening, or do I at least spend an hour or two doing something creative or productive.  I am by nature a creative person and drawing, doing cross stitch, or writing gives me lots of energy and pleasure, but it’s often easier to let the TV do my thinking for me.

Then there are decisions about how I’m going to let outside factors determine how I feel about life in general.  If I spend too much time getting negative input (i.e., the daily news, talk radio, people complaining about how bad things are), I can get very discouraged about things.  I’m not so worried about myself–after all, I’ve probably only got 30 or 40 years left, but I do get concerned about the kind of world my grandchildren are going to be given.  Instead of giving in to despair and negativity, what I need to do, is at least change my part of the world, impact the things and people I can impact and leave things better in so far as I’m able.

Think about how we all make decisions…

What influences do we allow to impact our thinking?

Do we make reasoned decisions based on our value systems?

Are decisions generally based on what is most convenient or will bring the most pleasure?

Does God ever factor into our decision-making process?

I have to admit that although I consider myself to be a committed Christian, and I try not to make “sinning” a habit, there are a lot of decisions that I make without considering whether or not they are God-honoring.

For example, eating the donut is not God-honoring.  Does that make it a sin?  Only in the sense that I am not treating my body like the temple of God and keeping it pure…it’s more one of those areas where I know what’s right to do and choose not to do it.

Same thing with watching too much TV.  Is it in and of itself wrong?  No.  Does it lift my spirit? Usually not. Does it stifle the creative energy God has put into my life?  Most definitely.  It could also be argued that it fills my mind with images and language that don’t need to be there.

Unlike my decision to get on the freeway (which could potentially have endangered myself and other, had I actually begun to throw up while driving), these decision on the surface seem only to affect me personally.  On further reflection, though, there is no such thing as something that only affects me.  If I’m not healthy, if I’m not living up to the talents and abilities that God has given me, it does impact others.  Maybe not on a huge scale, but none of us ever knows the full impact that our lives are having on those who are close to us and others we may never even meet.

My challenge is to think twice before I make decisions, and not to act on impulse, always taking the easiest, quickest or most pleasurable road.

Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. (NIV)

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