In a Multitude of Choices, Choosing the God of Life

A multitude of choices confront us each day. God calls us into service, but so many other voices make their claim on us as well. Whom and what have we really given our life to?

What is it that gets our attention?
Whose advice do we follow?
When we have to make a choice, what gets cut out? What stays in?
What are we committed to and how do we prioritize those commitments?
If all of our possessions were lost, what of value would be left for us?
What do our credit cards and checking account say of our values?
What do our politics say about our faith?
Does the living word of God, live in us to the extent that we place a priority on the words of Jesus?

The people of Israel had reached the edge of the Promised Land . . . that land which God had said, “flowed with milk and honey.” A land promised to the Israelites, when they were still enslaved in Egypt. Now was a moment of decision. Who would they be in that new land? Moses was gone. It was up to Joshua to lead the people into the land of promise. Forty years in the wilderness had shown Joshua a fickle side of their nature, when it came to following God. So, Joshua gathered the people of Israel. He reminded them that they were the people of promise, but warned them not to pretend to follow the Lord. It would be through this wandering people that God, would be made known to the world. Were they ready to accept their calling? Then Joshua demanded, “Choose you this day whom you will serve, God or some other . . .but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Joshua and his family knew that they could not live without God. They were acutely aware that in God were the answers to life and death. God was their source of hope and promise. Always, there would be false god’s beckoning. Popular culture would challenge their belief in a God of justice and mercy. Care for the orphan, widow and immigrant would be mocked and scorned. Enticements would encourage them to forsake God, but their decision was made. They would serve the Lord. They would not let any false gods usurp God’s place.

Centuries have passed since that long ago day, yet each of us faces that same decision which Joshua and his family did. Our life is written of such choices. “Choose you this day whom you will serve, God or some other . . .” Joshua 24:15

Looking at your life, your beliefs and your values, how close do they match the call of God? What do your Facebook postings say of your values? Today is a good day, to reexamine both faith and values. Have you fallen for some false god or have you chosen the God of life and promise.

The answer lies in each of our hearts and minds.

A Trip to the Headwaters of the Mississippi

Walking Across the Mississippi

Mississippi Headwaters

I just spent a few days with friends and some family at Lake Itasca State Park. Surrounded by trees, lakes and of course, the headwaters of the Mississippi River, it is truly a beautiful place. Here a small stream, coming out of Lake Itasca, makes its way through ten states on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. At the headwaters, people of all sizes walk across the Mississippi on rocks.

Down river, some of my family is planted along the Mississippi’s path. When I looked at that small creek, I thought of how the water would flow past Minnesota’s Twin Cities where I live, and on down to Winona where my daughter’s family lives now. The water continues to run past another daughter and her family in La Crosse Wisconsin as it continues to move towards the gulf. I wonder at the reality that something so small can become so mighty. By the time it reaches the homes of my daughters the Mississippi has widened and deepened. River boats and barges work the river. Yet, the water which is moved by mighty currents, had it’s start where I stood.

I’ve felt a pull to the river since I first drove along Hwy 61. With eagles soaring overhead and the crisp blue sky reflecting on the water, I am enamored by the Mississippi’s beauty. Through seasons of spring green and autumn colors, I marvel and revel in its contrast. In winter, there is a place of open water where the Chippewa River merges into the Mississippi. Even on sub zero days, eagles can feed and find shelter.

I’m reminded of God’s providence and care. The psalmist says of God: “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young.” Psalm 84:3. God’s providence includes all of creation – even us. Some days I need to be reminded of this truth.