Good morning. It is Monday, May 24, 2021.
I was looking at the paint color on my house this morning. It's called Black Evergreen and it is dark!
It took me over a month and three trips to the paint store to make up my mind. Wendell and I even drove around looking at paint colors on other houses.
I wanted something that blended in with the woods around me, and I do not like bright colors. I had told Wendell since I was choosing the paint colors inside, he should choose the paint color outside.
Our home previous (for 20 years) was a deep, dark plum with slate trim. That was my choice. I wanted him to choose. He finally told me "green."
Do you know how many shades of green there are?
According to https://simplicable.com/new/green-color there are 295 shades of green. I imagine there can be many more. I told him "you have to be more specific." He said "I want you to choose." So, I chose "Black Evergreen."
I love it! Not everyone does.
I have had people tell me "Wow, that is dark!" or "I would not have chosen that color for my house." That is the beauty of choice.
This morning I thought "Should I wear my black slacks or my blue jeans?" Choice. My paisley blouse or the solid maroon?" Choice. Do I fix my breakfast smoothie or grab a muffin at the coffee shop? Choice. Which route should I take? Choice.
Any guesses on many choices we make in a day?
I was curious as I was writing this morning and found this. It was surprising! We make thousands of choices every day. Researchers at Cornell University estimate we make 226.7 decisions each day on food alone. And as your level of responsibility increases, so does the multitude of choices you have to make. It’s estimated that the average adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day.
Did you have any idea that you make that many choices, daily? I didn't. Well, the food thing, I might have come close.
That is one thing I love about our Creator. He gave us freedom of choice. He created us with a computer-like brain that can make thousands of decisions a day. We are not robots, pre-programmed to obey. We have choice. He did not demand we love Him. He showed His love toward us and allows us to make up our own minds. Is He worthy of our love? Choice.
With choice, however, comes consequences for those choices. Whether I choose to steal and lie, sleep-in and not eat right, everything has a consequence.
When Jesus lived on this earth, he set an example for us. Yes, He is our Savior and came to save, but He also showed, by his example, how we should live, love, and treat others.
Ephesians 5:1-2 "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."
Walking in love is a choice. Forgiveness is a choice. Loving and trusting God is a choice. I would encourage you to choose all of the above today. Choose life.
I have heard my pastor say from time to time "God is a gentleman. He will not force you to do anything you do not want to do."
Can you imagine any relationship or friendship where someone points their finger at you and says "YOU WILL LOVE ME!" ?
It might be hard to love someone who demands it. On the other hand, if they show us love and compassion, we might start to develop those feelings of love towards them. If we take the time to get to know them, have conversations with them, even go out of our way for them, we will start to develop a deeper understanding of who they are and why we enjoy them in our lives. Love cannot be forced. If it is forced, it cannot be love.
Romans 5:6-8 "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die, but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." ESV
I love these verses. He did not wait for us to get our act together. No, instead, while we were still sinners Jesus died for us! What love!!
I choose to follow that kind of man. I choose to love that kind of God. I choose Him because He chose me!
1 John 4:19 "We love because he first loved us."
As you walk through this day, live as though today could be your last day on earth. Be kind, be loving, be forgiving, be generous. You have a choice.
Deuteronomy 30:19 ESV "...I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live".
Choose eternal life. It is there for all of us, but only if we choose.