Deut. 30:15-20; Psalm 1; Lk 9:22-25
Life is full of and is created by choices that we make daily. Who I am, what I do, and where I find myself begins with a choice or a decision that I make. Every choice creates a world that I must live in. A heaven or a hell. I can choose to be planted near an ever-flowing stream by praying, loving, trusting, and forgiving. The result of this choice would be a world of joy, freedom, peace, purposefulness, happiness, fruitfulness and strength. I can equally choose to be planted in a desert by allowing fear, anger, hate, unforgiveness, pride and jealousy to invade my life. The result of this would be a world of shallowness and meaninglessness, a world with no roots, a world where one is blown away by any wind or trouble.
Moses places before his people two choices: life and prosperity or death and doom, and he encourages them to choose life. They must choose. We encounter these choices daily and we know which will bring us life or death. Yet knowing this, we sometimes find ourselves choosing death. Why? Is hurting or destroying ourselves ever attractive? Why would I choose death and curse over prosperity and blessing?
To understand why this happens is to unravel the root of temptation, of violence and of evil in our world and in the human heart.
The aim of every temptation is to cloud our vision with regards to this choice. Temptation makes us to believe that the path of life and prosperity is so treacherous and hard and should not be tried. So many people do not choose the path of life and prosperity not because they tried it and found it difficult but rather because they believed it to be hard and so never had the courage to try it. Our life experiences show us that the time and energy consumed by thinking and worrying about a seemingly difficult task is often greater than the time and energy we use in accomplishing the task. We can spend 20 days of sleepless night worrying about a problem that we can solve in 10 minutes.
Temptation also makes us believe that the path of doom and death is not that bad and that it is the only option, the only way of life. It also never shows us what we have to pay for what it offers. There is always a better option and always another way.
What will it profit a person to gain the whole world and yet to lose one’s soul and happiness? Are we willing to give up or trade an eternity of happiness and peace for a minute of sinful convenience?
Today let us be aware of the world that we are creating by the choices we make. May God give us the courage today to choose life and prosperity over death and doom. May God bless us with the gift of discernment.