504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
Two of my favorite things

Monday, January 10, 2011

On Choices and Consequences

New Year’s confession to a congregation from your Pastor. My wife and I watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune when we happen to be at home. During the week leading up to Christmas, I stumbled on a new game show. It’s called, “Million Dollar Money Drop. The subtitle is “Seven Questions, Giant Pile of Cash” and it is a bit different from other game shows in that the prize money is physically in play. In other game shows, the cash prize is usually a number on a screen.

In “Money Drop” two people are given a million dollars in cash and are set the task of answering seven multiple choice questions in an effort to keep the money. It sounds easy enough, but the pressure of making the right choice seems to override common sense. The contestants, usually friends or spouses working as a team, are actually holding the money and where they set it down determines whether or not they’ll get to keep it. They put it on a panel which represents the possible answer to a question and if it is not the correct answer, the panel opens and their cash disappears down a chute.

On one show I watched a wrong choice cost a couple $800,000.

To my knowledge, none of my choices have cost me quite that amount of money, but it is easy to translate the principle that choices have consequences. Eleanor Roosevelt said that, “One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes ... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” Maybe the hardest thing about parenting (and youth ministry) is to communicate that choices have consequences, even if the consequence is delayed. If I am driving and make a wrong turn, it may be some time before we know we are off course, but every mile we drive takes us farther away from where we need to be.

Read that last sentence again and substitute the words “doing life” for the “driving” and you can see where I am going.

Early on, when the world was new, a biblical family was faced with a series of choices. Lot and his wife both made a choice Perhaps known for her choice to looking back when God said not to, thus becoming the original Morton’s salt girl. Ask somebody older if you don’t understand that reference. Before his wife made her fatal choice, Lot put her in a place where she had to make it when he settled in a place where the grass was green, but the sin was abundant.

This Sunday, I will speak on “Be Careful Where You Settle” from Genesis 13. The topic and text coincide with the Disciple Now weekend that the UBC youth are studying choices through their theme, “Wise or Otherwise.” I hope to reinforce their weekend with the message on Sunday morning. Pray for Mikel and his team for this important time. Pray for the students who will take part. Pray for all of us that God fertilizes our hearts for this important text.

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