I love to read. I think I always have.
When I was in grade school I was that dorky, chubby kid that looked forward to going to the library for reading time. There was a series of books called the “Choose Your Own Adventure Books” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choose_Your_Own_Adventure) that I was always drawn to.
In the CYOA books when the main character of the story had a decision to make the reader made the decision for him by turning to a certain page. “If you think Spiderman should join forces with Batman to fight crime turn to page 12. If you think Spiderman should fight crime alone turn to page 15.” I enjoyed these books because it was as if you were writing the story as you read. It was a fun experience for a 10 year old.
As I was reminded of these books I thought about how DVD’s have brought the same concept to film. Now, some DVD’s come with a bonus feature that allows the viewer to choose an alternate ending to the movie. A September 12th, 2005 USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2005-09-12-dvd-alternate-endings_x.htm) article declared it to be one of the most popular features on DVD’s.
I seems as if people like to have choices. In fact liberty, the freedom of personal choice, is the most fought for commodity in all of history.
There is an interesting custom that we entertain around the first of a new year. We make New Year Resolutions. It seems at New Years people realize that the ending year, and the balance of our lives for that matter, are made up of the choices we make.
What a profound realization.
While we are bound to the ebb and flow of tragedy and triumph that enter a life, how we choose to deal with those defeats and victories often will determine the balance of our experience on this earth and thereafter.
A family member was recently accused of being the reason the children of another member of her church weren’t living for God. “It’s because of you they’re not living for God” she was told. The child himself told her, “Because of you I’ve got a one-way ticket to hell.”
I beg to differ.
If a man goes to hell, he goes there because of choices he made. No one has the luxury of blaming another for the loss or ruin of their soul. If an individual’s spirit falls into ruin it can often be traced to choices that were made, full of free will and void of thought.
Disclaimer: Am I saying that people with good lives always make good choices and people with bad lives always make bad decisions? No. I believe there is a God-element at work in our lives as well. Some people make bad decisions, but if their lives are touched by the grace of God all things can “work together for good” (Rom. 8:28 http://bible.cc/romans/8-28.htm). Many times things can happen that are out of our control and we must simply “play the hand that’s dealt us”. These are unfortunate times. However, the majority of things we encounter in our life do not fall into this category.
The overwhelming majority of events we wrestle with are the direct result of choices we have made.
Facing a New Year is a refreshing feeling. It carries the implication of a new start. A chance at change. An opportunity to be better.
What a great time to take advantage of an opportunity and begin a habit of making better, Godly choices. Have a Happy New Year as you choose your own adventure!