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The Power Of Decision

The Power of Decision

Today, I stand on the top of “Mt. Achievement”.  It is truly a scenic and beautiful place, one that gives to me a certain feeling of peace and relaxation after the long, rugged climb.  It satisfies every dream and aspiration that were mine at the foot or the mountain and many miles and years below.     You see, Mt. Achievement is a rather distinguished “plateau”, reminiscent of the distant past, and is honored as the meeting place, and famous intersection of several popular and greatly traveled highways of life’s varied and exploratory wanderings.

I have traveled the highway of “Hope” all the way up the mountainside.  Ah, the optimism and expectancy of hope.   Hope, for all that which is good and right, maketh not ashamed, but, is rather a welcome guest in the reality in every God-given promise.   Although it has no definite prophetic finality, it does inspire the farmer as he plows, the expectant mother as she awaits the joyous arrival of her first new-born, the resurrection of a penitent believer from the waters of baptism to walk in the blessings of forgiveness and a new and rewarding life in Christ, and ends in fruition when faith becomes sight at the end of the trail. 

The highway of hope intersects with a winding road called “Choice”.  This is indeed the highway of beginnings, and I needed to consult my “road map of experience” before making a turn.  I noticed that no “arrows” pointed to the direction I was to follow, but since it is my responsibility to make a choice, the use of an arrow would be inconsistent.  

On this superhighway called “Choice” there are many road signs: “Travel at your own risk”; “Watch For Falling Rock”; “Winding Road”; “Meditation”; “The Right Decision”.  And, there were many side roads: “Believe God’s Word, But Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide”; “The New Testament Church Meets One Thought To The Right”; “Yield Not To Temptation”; “One Drink Won’t Hurt You”; “Don’t Let The Facts Confuse You”; “Millions Of People Can’t Be Wrong”, “No Hell Advocates – This Way”, and many others.  

Well, today I must make a decision, and the urgency of the hour causes my very soul to tremble at the mere thought of it.   Legion is the name of the wrong decisions I have previously made, and I have far more confidence in my “behind sights” than in my “foresights”.   The future, and the possible short projection into it is invaluable.  I must give thoughtful, prayerful, and precautionary consideration before it is made.  

O.D Wilson – (deceased)

    The above article was written in July 1981 by my Father-in-Law.   In the years he was granted from that time until his death in 1995, he had many choices to make as opportunities became available.   No doubt he consulted his “road map of experience” on many occasions to ensure that he made sound decisions as he continued his journey.   Each of us must do the same.

     One of the things he impressed on me was the benefit of having the proper attitude in every area of life so that the decisions we make don’t take us down the wrong roads or the paths that lead to destruction.  Remember, there are no “arrows” on the road of life to “make you” take the right roads.  One must make choices and must bear the consequences of the choices made.  The decision to become a child of God is the most important one can make.   But, if one does make that decision and begins that journey, and then fails to maintain a proper attitude, the road becomes awful “rocky” and difficult.   One with an improper mindset is much more likely to take “side roads” in life that lead away from Christ and the proper relationship with God.

    The Bible does not contain the word “attitude”, but the concept is very clearly taught in the Sacred Writ.  In the Galatians letter, we find the Spirit having Paul, in Galatians 5:7-9, pointing out that 1) these folks had obeyed.  2) some were later hindered.  3) the “attitude” maintained by the hindered brethren was not from the Lord.   4) And, left unaddressed, this would likely adversely affect the entire church in that region.   Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.  It seems quite obvious that an “attitude adjustment” was badly needed.  

    Sin, of any form is “leaven” in that it will affect the whole if not properly dealt with.  This is why the Spirit, in 1Corinthians 5:6-7a had Paul write brethren who had a situation among them, about which, some had the wrong attitude.  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.   When times are difficult, decisions still have to be made.   We all are to maintain the proper attitude toward God and our fellow man whether the times are good or bad.    Choices are often made dependent on one’s state of mind.   The state of mind is the attitude.  

    We all have “time on our hands” during the present situation.   Let’s use some of that time to reflect on, and examine our own attitudes and how these will determine the “paths” we take and where these paths and roads are leading.  Our journey is ours to take – Let’s not allow our attitudes make the trip harder.

                                   Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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