It's My Choice
It’s My Choice
The craziest thing happened. I went to Wal-Mart. Yes, that is crazy in itself because I hardly ever go there. Our local store is busy and hard to get in and out of because of the traffic flow. I usually avoid it, but wanted to run in and check into a few things. As I was leaving, I loaded the back of my SUV with all I purchased that I did not need. (Who can relate to that?) I hurriedly pushed my cart to the cart return and then it happened. I stood there for a few seconds staring and realized, it’s my choice. I wondered, what should I do? Again, realizing… it’s my choice.
As I stood there, I saw a crisp folded $20 bill. It was on the ground right next to a motorized scooter. I reached down, picked it up and looked around. Should I shout, “Score!” and put it in my pocket? Should I try to find the person who lost it? Should I take it into the store? What should I do with this $20 bill? I wasn’t sure, so I began talking to Jesus. “What do you want me to do with this, Lord? What do I do?” (Yes, I am that crazy lady that talks out loud to Jesus.) I saw a couple of other people in the parking lot and asked them, “Excuse me. Did you see who was on this motorized scooter?” I remembered talking with a young girl on a scooter in the store. Was this her $20? I carefully approached several people who seemed skeptical of me…the crazy lady – but, no one saw anyone. So here I am standing in the parking lot, turning in circles, walking up to strangers and realizing I was not comfortable taking this money. Should I take it in the store? Would an employee pocket it? How in the world would I get it to the right person? I stand there and realize… it’s my choice.
Out of nowhere I hear, “Excuse me, mam.” I turn to see a man who looks exhausted and thin. He goes on, “Mam, I need somewhere to lay my head. Can you help me? Just a dollar or two? Anything will help.” I am standing there with this $20 bill in my hand that does not belong to me. It’s my choice. All of the things people say are running through my mind. I know some believe we should help. Some believe we hurt others by enabling them. I think, This. Is. CRAZY! Where did he come from? I have been turning in circles, scouring the parking lot and this guy just came out of nowhere. I extend my hand, holding out the $20 bill to him. I said, “You are never going to believe this, but I just found a $20 bill.” He grabs ahold of it. I hold tighter refusing to release it. I said, “This is crazy. I just found it and now you are here. Do something good with this. Use this for good.” He nodded and assured me he would use it to get a room to rest. I released my hold and smiled. He thanked me and turned away.
You know, as I look back on this crazy moment, I am affected by it. I am glad I gave him the money – no matter what he did with it. It was my choice to give and I believe God was pleased with that. If this man made a poor choice, then that is between him and God. It is not my place to judge. However, I am not feeling proud and puffed up about this moment. Instead, I realize I did not give him anything that belonged to me. But more importantly, I wish I had taken one minute – just one more minute to say, “God loves you! You are His masterpiece. He created you with worth and value. Can I pray for you?” Why didn’t I do that? Why didn’t I talk with him more? As I sit, reliving those few minutes - I realize that everyday, in every moment, it’s my choice how I respond, react, and live out my life. My choices and your choices in those unexpected moments reveal a lot about the condition of our heart. Oh, how I want to be more like Jesus. Oh, how I want to love more and serve more and give more and tell others about Him more!
Today, more than ever, God is impressing on my heart that it is HIM I should live to please. People won’t always be pleased with me. People will judge me and say negative things about me. No matter. It’s my choice to please Him first, let the Holy Spirit direct me in my thoughts and actions, and love others well. We might be able to fool others, but so what? It is only God who knows the condition of our heart. And that my friend, is all that matters. It’s my choice to get real with myself, acknowledge my shortcomings and sins, seek Him, stay in His word and allow His word to get into me, to transform me. It’s my choice and it’s your choice. What will we choose?
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 2 Peter 1:5-9
Love is action – not just a warm feeling. Love is kindness and acceptance and grace and gratitude all rolled up into one. We are to love others the way that God loves us. No matter what we say, how we live, what we do – He Loves Us So! That is how we are to love others. So, it’s my choice, it’s your choice. In those crazy moments, how will we react, respond and live out this love? The Bible does not give us an out on this one. Do you remember what Jesus said when He was questioned and asked what the great commandment was? His answer is clear and precise.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
Oh God, it’s my choice. Find me faithful to love You most and love others well!
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