When Anna, John and Becky were little (long before the Sarah era), while traveling in our car, Linda and I would entertain the kids by playing a little tape called Ants’hillvania. We played it over and over. It was all about the choices of a teenage ant by the name of Antony. One of my favorite characters on this tape was Mr. Worm. There is one phrase this wise old worm would utter that is etched into my consciousness—“Choices, choices! We all got to make ‘em!” I really don’t know how much the kids remember or got out of the tape, but those words from Mr. Worm influenced me profoundly.
Good or bad, we all have rivers to cross, crosses to carry and cares to endure. It’s those opportunities for choice that defines who we are! As a parent of adult children, I just hope my influences were good enough to help remind them of what they are in Christ before they choose. I figure if I can be affected by Mr. Worm’s repetitive phase, “Choices, choices! We all got to make ‘em!”, than maybe some good will come of my nagging reminders of the faith I delivered to them. Life is full of difficult choices! I have discovered making the best ones require serious evaluation and good assessments of the results of choosing. Look at one of the difficult choices the Apostle Paul made.
Philippians 1:21-25 NIV
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith…
The necessity of the many out weighed the desire of the one. In Paul’s thinking there was no greater gift than “to depart and be with Christ.” However, at that moment, choosing to remain engaged in His Spiritual Gift on the earth, was of greater necessity—and I for one am thankful he made that choice. Our “progress and joy in the faith” weighs heavily on the fact Paul stayed on earth to contribute in his share of the canon of scriptures! Major parts of the New Testament were written because he chose to wait around and complete his Spiritual Gift’s contribution to the Body of Christ. Who knows where we’d be had Paul chosen otherwise! Though, we may not be the Apostle Paul, our choices do have the same important value. Our decisions not only affect us personally, but others are seriously impacted by our choices! “Choices, choices! We all got to make ‘em!” So choose wisely.
J. Robert Hanson