I was doing a little Christmas shopping today, and I had a grateful thought. I was going through a catalog, trying to get ideas for a couple of hard-to-shop-for folks in my life, and I couldn't believe all the discoveries I was making. Well, discoveries in the sense that I had no idea such items existed. The first several pages of the catalog were all electronic gadgets, or accessories for electronic gadgets, or things to expand the capabilities of electronic gadgets.
I am not an aficionado of gadgets. I do not play handheld or computer games, and I'm pretty strict about what I will allow my children to own. No X-Box, no Wii, no PlayStation, and to be honest, I'm not even confident I got all those names right.
I also own the simplest phone I can get away with. Just this year we decided our kids should have their own phones, as they're away from us a little more as they get older. Both of them, and the Apple of my Eye, all have phones that are more advanced than mine. And that's just the way I like it.
So I paged through this catalog, wondering about all these gizmos and whatchamacallits, and suddenly found myself very grateful that I can have less. I mean, glad that the options still exist for me to choose what I'm comfortable with. I'm grateful for choice. That's what freedom is, I think. Private or public school; paper or plastic; white meat or dark meat... It's truly a blessing to be able to live my life the way I choose to; for my husband and I to raise our children according to our intelligence, and our consciences.
This thought process had me remembering something I heard a pastor say about 20 years ago, while talking about free will. He said God allows us to choose Him. He doesn't force us to have faith, or to accept the gift of salvation. No, He allows us the choice, and He allows the choice to be difficult for us. This pastor said that in order for our choice to be meaningful, the alternative has to be attractive. And boy, life gives us some hard choices, doesn't it?
And then the final stop on my train of thought ~ Deuteronomy 30. One of my favorite chapters of Scripture. I encourage you to read the whole thing, but I'll give you a few "choice" verses!
~ "For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear and do it?' Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, decrees and laws, that you may live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses, that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now, choose life, 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." ~
Deuteronomy 30:11-16, 19-20
It is a blessing to have a choice,
but it's up to us to choose blessings.