Wow…think about that for a moment. “Our actions and decisions today will shape the way we will be living in the future.”
A pastor of a church I attended when I was a teenager, really impacted my life. One of the many things he said was that, “bad decisions close down your options for future good decisions.” Now that is not to say that you no longer have an opportunity to make a good decision, just that your options are different than they would have been, and maybe you don’t have so many to choose from any longer.
For example, if you are a ballet dancer and you choose to go sky-diving and you don’t land correctly, causing you to lose the use of your legs…your ballet future is impacted. The scenarios are endless. That ballet dancer may go on to do just as fantastic in some other area…but dancing probably won’t be the option it use to be.
This is a lesson I tried to teach our children…and I think it is a lesson that almost always has to be learned, ‘hands on’. Going through something, reaping the discipline or rewards helps that experience solidify in your brain. It begins when we are very young. A parent tells a child, “Don’t touch the stove, the burner is hot.” Very rarely will that child process in their mind, “Oh, Mommy spoke and I will obey.” They usually have to give it a try. Hopefully, as that child racks up some experiences, they will learn to listen when spoken to. When they hit the age of thirteen…it begins again…only on a different level.
It boils down to being very cautious about the decisions you make in your life. No, we shouldn’t tread in fear, always wondering if we are going to mess up our future. But we should learn from our past mistakes…touching the stove when told not to and getting burned. It you want to be a prima ballerina, maybe jumping out of airplanes isn’t such a great idea for you.
There is a second stage to this process of thinking. It is why I use Psalm 118:24 on this blog and why I think about it each and every day. We ALL make bad decisions. We have ALL touched the stove when told not to. Most of us have had another opportunity to try again. I very firmly believe, that as long as you are on this earth…you have another chance. If you jumped out of that plane, you may not be a prima ballerina, but you could be something else just as grand…an inspiration to others.
And no, I don’t believe this is all just by chance. There is a plan. God has designed it…and it works extremely well. He is far more forgiving, offering many more chances than I would ever allow if I was in charge! He guides and directs our lives, if we care to listen. Yes, sometimes discipline is in order and many times there are rewards. Almost always, that discipline is far less than what I would have handed out if it would have been up to me! God is gracious, merciful and loving…just as we should be as parents. He is also just and righteous, disciplining when needed…just as we should as parents. The difference is that He is far more fair…He is God.
“Our actions and decisions today will shape the way we will be living in the future.” Have you accepted Christ as your Savior? Do you know where you will go when your physical body dies? These are the two most important questions of all…and they will most definitely shape your future.