August 17, 2011

Today's Choice

The first golden rays of the sun shine through the blinds and across the kitchen floor. I sit quietly with my Bible, savoring the peace of the early morning hours. Suddenly I hear a little boy’s voice calling from the bedroom, “Mama!” and I smile. Another morning has begun at my sister’s house.
I hear childish chatter coming from the room as he tells my sister all about his night, then the quick scamper of footed pajamas across the floor as his little voice calls out, “Uncle Gweg, will you come play twains with me?” It is such fun for my husband and me to be uncle and aunt!
Greg and our oldest nephew, Jonathan, walk down the hall together to his room. They have just started playing trains when my sister enters and offers her son a choice. “Jonathan, would you like oatmeal or cream of wheat for breakfast?” He pauses from his play and looks up. “Oatmeal, Mama.”
2011 1523 page31Soon Jonathan and Uncle Greg come out to the table. Jonathan climbs up into his booster seat all by himself, as my sister offers him another choice. “Would you like a pear or a banana with your oatmeal?” He furrows up his little brow in concentration, then a smile breaks out on his face. “Banana, Mama.”
I try not to laugh as we have the blessing and he digs into his breakfast. Greg and I try to understand the running commentary, but since we don’t live with him and understand all his words, my sister translates when we get stuck.
After breakfast Jonathan is ready to get dressed for his day, and I listen amazed as my sister offers him yet another choice. “Would you like your Thomas shirt, or the blue-and-white-striped one?” She holds out one with Thomas the train on it, and a regular striped T-shirt. He doesn’t even hesitate. “Oh, I want Thomas the twain,” he says, and this time I can’t stop the chuckle.
As my sister works him into his little shirt, my mind goes back over the choices he had already made that morning. First, oatmeal; then, a banana with his oatmeal; and now his favorite Thomas T-shirt. A lot of choices for a little guy just 3 years old! Yet the older he gets, the more he’s going to be bombarded with choices. I can almost hear them already: Hey, Jonathan, why don’t you talk back to your parents? Why are you so straitlaced? A little drink would help you to loosen up a bit. Who cares whether you go to church on the Sabbath? In fact, why don’t you just drop church attendance altogether? And reading that Bible? Only sissies need a crutch; real men don’t need God.
I shudder as I think of his youth and his innocence. How do you protect a child like that? Maybe the choices my sister gives him are pretty important after all. Maybe as he learns to make simple choices—and such not-so-simple ones as sharing with his brother even when he doesn’t want to—he’s learning how to make the biggest choice of all. That choice is found in Joshua 24:15: “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”*
What choices are you faced with today? Are you changing jobs or careers? Maybe you’re choosing someone to marry, or you’re unsure whether to stay in the marriage you’re already in. Maybe you’re choosing a church or a school or a friend. In the end, all our choices lead us either to Christ or away from Him.
By God’s grace Greg and I have made our choice for Jesus—forever, without reservation, come what may. What is your choice?
*This text is from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Jill Morikone is a music teacher, a church pianist, and a host on the 3ABN Today cooking segments. This article was published August 18, 2011.