Now You Choose
by Ken Langenbrunner
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How many times have you sat down to watch a movie only to have it ruined and degraded by the bad language and unnecessary scenes not needed to enhance the plot? Fortunately there are many that are wholesome enough to sit down and enjoy with family or friends, such as the many Hallmark and Christian filmmaker’s movies. Many of them show incredible, breathtaking scenes of the oceans, sunsets, and landscapes of our Creator captured on film by man. Many of them are capable of producing heart-breaking moments and situations that depict the human life we must at times suffer through and hopefully learn from in order to carry on with life.
Such was one film I watched several years ago. How do you recover from the loss of a spouse or loved one? How do you let go of the past and grab hold of a future possibility with another? Why is that so hard to accomplish? How long do you morn or withdraw from a pass loss, abuse, or neglect before you are able, or decide to trust again with your heart and life? Is it possible? Loss is a part of our journey through life, and how we handle it determines the quality of our remaining time here on earth.
The main character of the film had lost his wife, they were childhood sweethearts, and the grief from his incredible love for her overwhelmed his life and thoughts. Until another woman had mysteriously filtered into his life, he never thought he was capable of loving again. But, his inability to let go of that past caused him a loss of the present and the possibility of a new and promising future. Sound familiar? Has anything remotely like that happened to you? If so, how did you handle it?
His father proposed a solution to his dilemma:
“Now…you choose…between yesterday and tomorrow, pick one and stick with it!”
What was he telling him? What situation was he forcing him to confront? He wanted him to choose between yesterday - living in a lonely present time with only a past memory of his departed spouse and the life they once had together, or, a tomorrow – a present and future life with this new love, and all the possibilities that it would present to them in a life together.
Stop and think this through, God offers us the same confrontation. You can either choose to continue in your past way of life, of sin and disobedience to His Word, which would be yesterday, or pick a tomorrow, choose salvation which would be the start of a new life full of peace, security, satisfaction, grace, unconditional love, and so much more that time and space does not allow me to continue.
Dr. Charles Stanley once preached on the many encumbrances that can disrupt our walk with God and living a fulfilled life, and two of them reminded me of a past friendship: perfectionism and fear of failure. The two can actually intertwine each other. He said there was nothing wrong, per say, with a perfectionist other then their fear of entering into certain situations because they may not be able to adequately perform the task. That’s sort of like the average Christian that’s afraid to witness because they would not know exactly what to say and exactly how to say it, so they remain silent.
The fear of failure is similar, there is a fear that they will not be able to accomplish a certain task at all, so they make a determination not to even attempt certain venues, even though they truly would like to do so. Many have the fear of commitment to a marriage, and others pass up opportunities God gives them, all because the great Deceiver implants fear into their thoughts that they might fail so why even attempt such possibilities. This kind of fear causes us to pay a price NOW for something that may not even happen or take place in the FUTURE!!
If a person could look at and love another with even half of the devotion they have for a certain job, career, or task then that would be a hopeful sign of possibility, but many will not allow themselves this, it is seen as a distraction from their main goal(s). And yet, how many wonderful scripture references are there depicting God’s wondrous wisdom and ways of helping us with such gifts, abilities, and desires He so wants to bless us with.
Why are we more willing to choose belief in and listen to man’s ways and words instead of God’s? When we stray from His Word and His house, and His people, it becomes easier with each opportunity to ignore His teachings (or pick only the one’s we want to follow!) and thus allowing our Adamic sin nature to reign within. So, we too have a choice to make and we need to pick one and stay with it. Should we choose to quit role playing the part of a Christian while living the life of a worldly sinner, or stand firm on our biblical principles and beliefs and set standards for those around us that are watching and observing our walk, and for the most important one watching and observing: our Creator.
Now…you choose…between yesterday, or a new tomorrow.
“And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (I John 2:17, NKJV)
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7, NKJV)
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