I woke up this morning with thoughts of the consequences; both good and bad; of the choices we all make...the choices I make.  My first conscious choice of this day was to get up early so I could write this blog post.  I could have stayed in bed; my sheets are SO SOFT, and it was cozy...but this was my chance to write before I work on a painting, before I go to work later.  The consequence of this first conscious choice was grogginess, others will be satisfaction that I did something productive (not that sleep isn't productive, but I'd had a good bit of that already), I might be sleepy later in the get the point. Choices!  We are faced with them constantly. 

There are no great revelations in this blog post, just ruminations; just thoughts that might help choices to be made more carefully.  As I said earlier, our choices all come with consequences.  We have but this one life, and some choices may affect the rest of it.  It would seem to me that our choices; IF we want a life worth living, should be made with God's wisdom and not our own. Proverbs 3:5 - "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." After all, God made us, so who would be a better guide to make it through this life than He? Ephesians 2:10 - "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

I've not always thought about choices I make in life. It was the loss of several friends after the loss of my father last year that really brought this thought pattern home for me.  First my dad...that has been a hard one.  I am so proud of the man he was.  He was a man of dignity and grace.  He was honorable and honest.  He was my dad, and a great example. I miss him much!  I don't know what caused his Leukemia, his Parkinson's, his lymphoma...was it environmental?  I don't know.  I don't know if choices for him or his parents about working in fields that had been heavily sprayed with insecticides would have made a difference.  No one knew back then, so there was not a choice for safety in people's understanding then, but you understand what it means that choices CAN affect life.  I had a friend who made a choice to climb on a ladder that must not have been very secure, or she wasn't very secure on her feet, as she fell and died. We have choices before us every day to make that can and will affect the rest of our lives.  Who we marry, what dangerous or illegal chemical we put in our bodies, whether to speed down a mountain or is endless!  THINK FIRST...choose carefully, because we do not have a do over in life.  Use God as your guide! His way is good, ours is often fraught with pathways that lead to death; both physically sometimes, and also spiritually; which is the MOST important.  Proverbs 14:12 - "There is a path that seems right to a man, but in the end it is a road to death." God is our heavenly father, and He loves us, and He see's all things, so He is an awesome one to trust!

Joshua 24:15 - But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua was leading the Israelites into the promised land.  They were always choosing the wrong path; a path away from God.  He is giving them some sound wisdom that applies to us today...CHOOSE for yourselves, but know there are consequences of every choice! I know for me, I'd rather have a good consequence that leads to heaven and all God's blessings!

Sometimes, because we are human, we lean on our own understanding,  we choose a selfish path and we have hard consequences as a result. Perhaps we force a relationship and marry outside of God's wisdom; that consequence can be a life of stress and sorrow.  (and no, I did not marry the wrong person, I married the exact man that God knew I needed to marry to be the best Christian woman I can be...HOWEVER, I have no illusions...I have made plenty of unwise choices in life!!) (SIDE BAR: I'm laughing right now, because I wonder if my poor husband ever thinks he made a wonky choice?? I can be quite a little pistol! Pray for my poor hubby! HA) Using this as an example we STILL have good choices within that one that may not have been the wisest.  We can choose how we will behave within that relationship.  We can choose to be Godly, and in THAT choice we may affect a change within that relationship.  My point here is, IF we are walking in the light, and IF we love the Lord, we can change the affect of our choice on us in our attitude and our own actions.  We can find joy and happiness in our circumstances.  Look at Paul as he spoke the words James 1:2-4  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  This tells us that even in the face of choices that may have produced a less than joyful consequence we can use it to produce in us a complete and joyful servant! YAY!  This can also apply to those things that happen in life that are not a product of our unwise choice...See how God is working in all things!

My simple point in all of this folks is that we are free moral agents in this world.  God is ALWAYS there, loving us, trying to guide us if we will but take time to listen and learn from His most perfect wisdom.  Try to think first before you choose.  Pray every day that you let God guide your choices and heart!  DON'T judge those who may have made a choice that causes pain and sorrow...LOVE that person, and above all look to yourself first...Look to your heart, let God give you's there; all we have to do is ask!!  James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."

and remember...