Another Coke (October 23, 2012)

…Opening To…

Decision is a risk rooted in the courage of being free. (Paul Tillich, Theologian)

…Listening In…

Better to be patient than a warrior, and better to have self-control than to capture a city. The dice are cast into the lap; all decisions are from the LORD. (Proverbs 16:32-33; context)

…Filling Up…

I’d hazard to guess that most people give quite a bit of thought to the “big” decisions: where to go to college, whom to marry, how much debt you think you can handle when you’re thinking about buying that first car, who gets your vote for president. You get the idea. A “big” decision doesn’t crop up every day, though we may spend many days wrestling with such a decision.

We notice these big decisions. They keep us up at night. They send us to friends and family for input. But the small decisions – the hundreds we make every day like the ones I listed yesterday – tend to slip under the radar. And these decisions can have just as big an impact on your life as one big decision. Here’s an example.

Every day, you walk by the soda machine at school or work. You’ve got correct change jangling in your pocket, so you slot the necessary coins into the machine and, deciding on a beverage, press the button. The 20-ounce Coca-Cola clatters to the base of the machine; you stoop down, pick it up, unscrew the top, and enjoy. You do this every day. A couple times a week, you also decide to stop by McDonald’s on the way home for an afternoon snack: a large fry and another Coke. This becomes a routine, and pretty soon you don’t realize that the aggregated small decisions to put stuff into your body will, over the long term, damage it. When you’re diagnosed with Diabetes, you are faced with another set of decisions. They are the same ones you were making before – the soda machine, the drive-thru, among others – but they are no longer small decisions. Every one of them is big.

This is a negative example, but it works positively, too. You’re stuck in the checkout line behind a person taking an impossibly long time. You can decide to be angry or to be gracious. You choose grace. Now, multiply that decision a thousand times – every time you get annoyed – and see how much better your life is when you choose to be gracious.

These little decisions flit through our lives so quickly that we rarely register as having made them at all. So what are we followers of Jesus to do? Pray every time we make a decision? YES. Doesn’t that seem extraneous, exhausting, and, quite possibly overkill? NO. But more on that tomorrow.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are with me in all the decisions I make. Help me to have the foresight to see down the path that my decisions are taking me. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, rejoicing that you are with me in all the decisions I make.

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