I chose to be a follower of Jesus at the age of 6. I know it may be hard to believe that at 6, someone can make that kind of choice. I think it may be my first memory. Someone asked me the question,” Do you accept God’s sacrifice of His Son for the restoration of the relationship between God and mankind that was lost at the fall of Adam and Eve? Do you repent of all your sins and promise to live the rest of your life for Him and for others? (Wait, I was six! Not much time to sin yet.) I think different words were used. They were along the lines of, ” Do you invite Jesus into your heart?” I remember saying yes, and then repeating a simple prayer and finally hearing someone say, “Now you are saved.” Ever since that moment, I have lived my life seeing the world through the eyes of a follower of Jesus…my joys, my sorrows, my achievements, my failures, my pain, my pleasure, my sin, my undeserved favor. Every minute of my life has been seen through Christian eyes.
During my years as a Jesus follower, I have learned how to live that life from many different sources, a number of churches I have attended, each having a different flavor than the others. The common denominator is they were all “protestant”. The different flavors came from their denominational history, their past and present leadership and how they interpreted what God wanted to say in the bible. I learned from my family, my friends, the books I read and, of course, the Holy Spirit.
Over the years, my mind was developed and molded and changed by all these ingredients. And now, here I am. With a mind filled with teachings and experiences that I use to interpret my daily life. I have tried to make good decisions each day. Some days I have been more successful at it than other days.
I have determined that for the most part, wherever we are in our lives, most of us are there because of the choices we have made all along the way, good choices and bad choices. From “Should I go to college,” to, “Should I forgive the person who has wronged me “. There is a scene in a movie I like. An older man that has lived a life he is not proud of is talking to a large group of teenagers. He tells them, “As I lived my life, I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. Do you know why? Because it was too hard.”
I have found the right choice is usually the hard choice. Doing something you know is right but has a cost. Walking away from something you really want but you know is wrong. Doing something that will diminish you for the benefit of someone that doesn’t deserve it. I hope I will always be willing to make the right choices, hard or easy. Whenever confronted by a hard choice, I try to think about how this choice will affect me and those around me, now and in the future.
And I remember, God is watching.