At the Crossroads of Good and Evil

Photo courtesy of Peter Griffin

Last night at a special meeting of our church our new pastoral candidate made a comment that stuck with me.  Someone had asked him how he felt about divorced people serving in positions in the church.  He said (and I’m paraphrasing) that he figured we have all been touched by divorce in some way, whether it is by knowing a family member or friend who is divorced, or going through a divorce ourselves, or even just contemplating divorce at some point in our lives.  He went on to say that he felt that divorce should not preclude someone from serving in the church if they are striving to live their life in a manner pleasing to God.  (I hope I’m getting the basic meat of this correct.  If not, this is how my mind heard the response.)

Anyhow, I was mulling over that this morning and my mind went off on a tangent, as it often does.  I thought how easy it is for us to condemn others for a bad decision when really, we all are just one bad decision away from potential disaster or, at the very least, a life-altering event.  Every day we are called on to make choices and we usually move throughout our everyday routines making decisions without giving things a lot of thought.  Subconsciously we have a moral template that has been formed by our upbringing, our life experiences, and our belief structure and without even realizing half the time what we are doing, we “bounce” possible actions against this template, discarding those actions that don’t “fit” and following actions that “do” fit our template.

What happens when we chose to ignore our template (or conscience, if you will) and do something rash?  Well, we have an example of that in our own church.  Recently our congregation was terribly saddened to learn of one of our youth who was involved in a robbery at a convenience store.  This youth, who has been a valued member of our church family, allegedly made the decision to shoot the store clerk, killing her even though she was offering no opposition.  In one split second, a terrible decision has irretrievably changed this young man’s life and the lives of this clerk’s family.  It’s horrific!  Surely he must find himself in a living hell of thinking if only he could turn back the clock and chose a different path.

Choices!  We face them every day.  Remember the old elementary school adage of “Stop, Look, and Listen” before you cross the road?  We’d be well-served to follow a similar advice as we face choices and challenges.  Stop!  Take a moment to consider your choices.  Look! How might potential courses of action affect your life and the lives of those around you?  Listen!  Seek wise counsel, starting with conversation with our Heavenly Father.  If you don’t know Him, find someone who does.  They’ll be happy to introduce you.  It might be the best decision you ever make.

 

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