“Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” – Deuteronomy 30:19
Porter, the large, lovable family dog belonging to our son and daughter-in-law, once was left alone in the house while the family went out shopping, so he decided to take advantage of the situation by doing a little grocery shopping of his own. After somehow managing to nose open the pantry door he spied a brand new bag of flour which he promptly snatched off the shelf, dragging it into the family room where he commenced to tear it open and scatter white flour all over the furniture and carpet.
You can just imagine the scolding Porter received from Mom and Dad when they returned home and discovered his mischief. “Bad dog! Bad dog!” they yelled over and over as they endeavored to clean it up, until finally our granddaughter Olive, who was probably about four at the time, had heard enough and spoke up in his defense. “But Mommy,” she said, “Porter is not really a bad puppy-dog, he just makes bad choices.”
Ah, my granddaughter the great philosopher! Haven’t we all at one time or another, upon gaining some new freedom, made a big mess, a big boo-boo, not because we are bad people, we just made bad choices? I certainly have. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most of the bad things that have happened to me in my life have been the result of my own bad choices. Likewise, I can attribute most of the good things to either good choices I have made on my own or others have made on my behalf. As I reflect on my life today in weighing the bad choices versus the good, I’m thankful to report that miraculously the scales have tipped in favor of the good.
After leading the Israelites on their long journey out of Egyptian bondage, Moses cautioned the Israelites about the choices they make in their newly gained freedom. “I set before you today life and prosperity,” he warned them, either that or “death and destruction.” It was their choice.
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you,” Moses went on, “that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Either we choose to raid the pantry and leave a big mess, like Porter, or we choose what is noble and good, making the world a better place for all.