Yakov Smirnoff came to the United States and then to a theatre in Branson after fleeing the Soviet Union. One thing that made a big impression on him was the sheer variety of choices in American supermarkets, after the empty shelves of Soviet-era grocery stores. Here’s one of his most famous bits:
“On my first shopping trip, I saw powdered milk — you just add water, you get milk. Then I saw powdered orange juice — you just add water and you get orange juice. And then I saw baby powder, and I thought to myself, ‘What a country!'”
Choices. Choices make the difference. A student may practice their sport or play on their Xbox. A father can work more at home or play with their child. Spouses can reconcile or remain angry through the night. I may spend on my pleasure or give to others through places like the Manna Center, New Beginnings, Teen Challenge, Ability Tree, the Call, Genesis House or a local church.
If we could jump ahead five, ten, or twenty years and see the result of all the choices we make each day, would we spend our time differently? Would we walk away from some choices or treat those around us differently? Would we invest our time, talent and money in the same or different ways?
God says through Proverbs 3:1 not to suppress, dismiss from the mind, or stop remembering the things He has taught us. The Bible is often seen as a negative book full of dull pleasure-less prescriptions. It is quite the opposite.
In letter after letter the heavenly Father shares His love, wisdom, and guidance on how to live long, prosper, and find peace. Personal experience and the biblical account lavishly recount the blessings, sometimes years in the making, of submitting personal plans, hopes, desires, and dreams to God.
Trusting His love, His wisdom, His power and His desire to bless us and others through us will not disappoint. A deeply poignant movie will be released this fall called “Loving Lynda”. I have seen the trailer and highly recommend it as an example of this discussion.
C.S. Lewis said, “People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, ‘If you keep a lot of rules I’ll reward you, and if you don’t I’ll do the other thing.’
I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.”
Your future is “a million little choices” a mini video proclaims. It begins today. Choose wisely.