I've been thinking a lot about choices and decisions lately.
Over the course of a day, we make an astounding number of choices. I started the day by choosing to get out of bed rather than roll over and go back to sleep. In the few minutes since I rolled out of bed, I've already chosen between black coffee or coffee with cream, eggs for breakfast or a fruit and nut bar with peanut butter, which section of Scripture to read today, potential topics for a blog post, and which pair of shoes to wear outside. Before the day is done, I'll make many more choices.
Some of the choices will have limited consequences. Which pair of shoes I wear outside won't matter much. My food choices today may have a significant long-term effect on my health and weight. My choice of Scripture and devotional materials may have a lasting effect on my spiritual health, as well as on that of my family.
The potential for consequences should be a driving force in our decision making, pushing us toward right choices.
When the angel appeared to young Mary, he told her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God." (Luke 1:30 nasb) She didn't find favor with God because she had a beautiful face or a lovely figure. She didn't find favor with God because she was a good housekeeper or sang well or danced well or told a story well.
Mary found favor with God because she made right choices and obeyed Him.
Tomorrow, I'll cut greenery and decorate my mantel. I'll haul out the tree and ornaments and decorations and set them in place. I'll wrap a few presents to go under the tree. I'll prepare Donna Krason's sugar cookie dough and freeze a roll or two. None of that will be about Christmas. It will all be about December.
Tomorrow I'll also pull out the Nativity set my friends Yvonne and Marilyn gave me years ago. I'll set it up and search for the baby's broken hand (because I always hope I'll find it). I'll remember the phrase "Christ has no hands but mine". Once again, I'll sit before that baby in the manger and offer Him my hands to use as He will, and it will all be about Christmas.
This Christmas season, we have the opportunity to choose how we will honor God. Will we embrace only the glitter and glitz of December and call it Christmas or will we choose the Child who rested in the Manger on His way to the Cross?
The choice has greater consequences than we know, so choose well.
In case you missed any of the past week's posts, here are the links: Grateful Heart: Family, Beginning the Advent Journey, Finding Christmas: The Best Advent of All, Finding Christmas: Something Better than Stuff, Finding Christmas: Setting a Goal, Finding Christmas: When Life is Less than Perfect, and Finding Christmas: Clear Vision.
The most read post of the last week: Grateful Heart: Family.
photo courtesy of freeimages.com