Have you ever had to make a life or death decision?
I've been thinking about them for two reasons. The first reason is because our Sunday School class has spent June examining the criterion of how and why we make decisions.
As is true of any good class, this one has proven to be interesting and thought-provoking. At the core of the study are several questions designed to help people carefully consider the ways in which they make decisions, and the resulting consequences; i.e. were they wise or not?
Because of this class I've found myself examining some of the decisions I've made over the years, along with their results. Not surprisingly, it appears that my "wise" to "unwise" ratio is about 5:10.
In other words, I've made twice as many bad decisions as good ones. (In my defense, I really thought those electric blue contact lenses would look good.)
My second foray into decision contemplation happened at our prayer meeting last Wednesday.
Departing from the norm, my husband, Bob, invited a missionary from India to share his ministry with us.
He began by showing slides of his native country, informing us of demographics such as the population, housing, poverty level, roads, electricity and diet staples (rice, rice and more rice). It was interesting enough, but I found my mind wandering.
My attention was fully engaged a few minutes later, when the man began to preach. His message came from the book of Jonah and centered on, of all things, decision-making. (I think the Lord is trying to tell me something.)
He pointed out that Jonah tried to run away from God's presence, hiding out on a boat that wasn't heading for Ninevah, the place God wanted him to go.
A storm came up, Jonah got booted out of the boat, swallowed by a big fish and spent three days in it.
Jonah then made a wise decision; He became obedient and went to Ninevah where many heard the word of God.
This, explained the visiting missionary, clearly illustrates two important things: first, we fallible humans sometimes attempt to bypass God's will, but we can't hide from God's presence, and second, because God loves us he gives us a second chance.
Jonah, you see, was trying to forsake God, but God was not willing to forsake Jonah.
We all face decisions on a daily basis: when to wake up in the morning, what to have for lunch, which book to read, when to take a vacation, to name a few.
Granted, these decisions won't have life or death consequences (unless I'm cooking the lunch).
There is one decision that will be the most important one you'll ever make.
Will you ask Jesus into your heart today?