"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Life Vs. Death: It's Your Choice

Last week I wrote something in my journal that Ruth Haley Barton said concerning good versus evil. 

GOOD: that which moves us toward God and His calling on our lives.
EVIL: that which draws us away from God and His calling on our lives.

Somehow, that just seemed like a good definition to me.

As I began my Lenten journey this morning, I was directed to Deuteronomy 30:15-20. It's that well-loved and known passage that speaks of choosing life. In a very discrete moment in Israel's history, Moses puts a choice before them: I have set before you today life and prosperity, death [a common Lenten theme] and adversity  ... I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.

A timely word not only for those Hebrew children, but one that constantly, moment by moment, confronts all of us.

What if we took a piece of paper and on one side wrote "Things that bring me to life" and on the other "Things that deaden me," and then we began writing whatever came to mind ... keeping the list for an entire day -- or week. On one side we might start out using words that describe our activities but then move more toward the real issues and use words such as worry, unforgiveness, a cynical spirit, a judging attitude, self-preoccupation, a lying tongue, fear, control, etc. Whereas the other side might also begin with a list of activities, it, too, would move toward words such as trust, faith, forgiving, prayer, love, kindness. You get the point. Which side would be longer? The side that brings life or the side that deadens? The side that moves us to God and His calling on our lives? Or the side that draws us away.

As Moses said, it really is a choice. A choice that wavers between life and death.

Just an ordinary Lenten moment...

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