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choices

July 27, 2013

A huge “aha moment” in my life took place about 20 years ago. I realized that life is made of choices. Period. It’s literally that simple. Little choices accumulate and build into big choices. Then there are those key choices like Elijah is faced with in I Kings 19:1-2. King Ahab had frantically ridden his chariot back to the palace in the pouring rain at the end of chapter18. As soon as he got home he told his wife, Queen Jezebel, about the astounding things he had seen throughout his day. She, being the true leader in this dysfunctional relationship, popped a cork. Jezebel sent a message to Elijah that she was going to kill him within 24 hours just as he had killed her pet prophets of Baal.

Elijah had a choice. He could either turn to God for direction or turn and run for his life. In that split second he made his choice. He chose to hoof it as fast as he could.  He ran about 90 miles south to Beersheba where he dropped his servant off, then ran about another 20 miles into the wilderness where he fell asleep under a tree.

In 1 Kings 19:5 Elijah is awakened by an angel and told to eat some fresh bread and drink the water that has just been provided for him.  He did, then fell asleep again.  Verse 7 shows that God gave Elijah a second chance to ask for direction of where to go next.  “Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.’ ”  There’s no indication that Elijah asked what journey the angel was talking about or where he was supposed to go.  So he went his own way.

This is sobering to see such a strong, bold, and courageous man who knew God so well make such a mistake like that. It causes me to give myself the permission to show my humanity and not beat myself over the head when I do. What I’m going to take from this is to look back at times when I’ve had a choice to make in a split second, when I’ve made both right and wrong decisions. I also intend to use this as something to take to Daddy and ask for help with future choices. When I make the right little choices they build a firm, well-built road to travel on. Each right choice clears the path for the next step. Trust me, I have gotten off the smooth road to create my own direction more times than I can count. I want to use those bad choices as teaching tools to help me remember in those split second times to stay on the highway of good choices.

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