The Choices that Make You

Several years ago, State Farm Insurance sponsored a nationwide study of traffic accidents at different locations, and they came up with a list of 'the most dangerous intersections in America'; I think they've been doing it ever since. 

Interestingly enough, that very first year, number one on the list was the intersection at Beltline and Midway in the little town of Addison, TX. Addison has a population of 13,000, more or less. Just to give you some perspective, Orange has 139,000. 

Get a load of these figures: During one five year period, 263 crashes were reported at that one intersection. Which comes to a little over five wrecks a week—can you imagine?—and that's not counting fender-benders that didn't get reported: the actual figures are quite a bit higher. 

It's amazing! And that was just number one! There were plenty of other places of course: the State Farm list keeps growing every year. You can log on to a database and find the dangerous intersections in your state or your community. There are plenty of them in every state, because America is full of dangerous intersections! 

But do you know what I've discovered over the years? Life is full of dangerous intersections, and you don't have to drive to Addison to get into a wreck! 

I've seen a lot of wreckage at the crossroads of peoples lives—enough to make me want to shout it out to all the world: "Be careful! It's a crossroad! You need to stop, look, think! Because wherever there are crossroads—wherever choices must be made— there is danger; there's the potential to make a wreck of things in life." 

The shocking thing is that people today are going through life without even knowing they are at a crossroad; they seem not to know that they are making choices every day! Or...should I say...the choices are making them? 

Oh yes! The choices make us, dear ones! They make us what we are right now, and what we will be tomorrow. All the heartache and tragedy and brokenness of this world—it comes from 'choices', almost without exception. The very best and the very worst of all the human race, and everyone in between can look back and see the 'choices' that have made them. You are the product of what you choose. 

Back in 2008, USA Today did a survey of 1000 divorcees. I was surprised at what they found: 

48% of the men missed their ex-wives. 

37% of the women missed their ex-husbands. 

40% of all adults who had gone through divorce, felt that they had let "the right one" get away! 

Wow! That is sad! 

Get this, from another survey: 67% of all teenagers who have been sexually active, now wish they hadn't been! That is a shocking percentage! Do you know how many teenagers that is, by the way? Almost 10 million! Living with the regret of choices that have changed them; choices that will definitely affect their marriage! 

On a more encouraging note: the percentage of teenagers who are sexually active has been declining for the past several years. So has the number of teens using drugs. Praise God! Someone is stopping at the crossroad and thinking about where they are going! 

All through the Scriptures—from the very first chapters actually—the point is constantly being made that 'choices' are powerful things. Take the couple's choice in the garden that day. Gen 3:6 Or Esua's fateful choice of a 'stew'. Gen 25: 29-34 

Nowhere is this point made more clearly than in the Book of Proverbs. Take, for example, the verse that describes people who 'choose' to hate wisdom. (It so reminds me of our generation!) "They hated wisdom and did not choose to fear the Lord..." Prov 1:29 A few chapters later, we are warned about how we 'choose': "Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways." Prov 3:31 

In Deuteronomy, the 'choice' becomes—literally—a matter of life and death: 

"This is what the Lord says: 'I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Therefore choose life, so that you and your children may live." Dt 30:19 

Jesus often portrayed human destiny in terms of the choices we make. He talked about a choice of 'gates' and a choice of 'roads': 

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Mt 7: 13-14 

He talked about a choice of 'treasures' in Matthew 6:19; a choice of 'loyalties' in John 15. We choose our 'peace' in John 14:27; we choose 'light' over 'darkness' in John 3:19; 'purity' over 'temptation' in Matthew 5:20; even 'blessings' and lasting 'happiness', right in the midst of great persecution! Isn't it amazing? 

All the great heroes of Hebrews 11 were the products of choices they'd made. 

Abel 'chose' the better sacrifice. Heb 11:4 

Enoch 'chose' to walk with God. Heb 11: 5 

Noah 'chose' to build an ark. Heb 11:7 

Abraham 'chose' to obey and go... 

"...even though he did not know where he was going." Heb 11: 8 

And Moses 'chose'—get this!—Moses: 

"...chose to be mistreated, along with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than all the treasures of Egypt." Heb 11: 26 

Do you mind if I ask? How are you doing at the crossroads these days? 

We 'choose', dear ones, every day, at every crossroad! Do it well, Christian! Kids! Hear this and get it right! Choose well! Choose the Fear of the Lord, with every choice you make. Because —believe me!—every choice you make, will be making you! 

See you Sunday! RAS

 

Our 'Jerusalem'...Our 'End of the Earth'
America: Started by a Church?