“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where.”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
One of the most basic questions people ask at some point in their lives is: “How did I get here?” It may be that we are asking how did I get to the point that I have such financial problems. Or how did I get to the point where my relationships are in shambles. Or maybe we are asking ourselves how did I get to the point where I am so out of shape. Or maybe we are wondering how we let that little moral thing escalate into a big problem.
“How did I get here?” This is an important question because it’s answer will determine how we live and view the world around us. It is easy to conclude that in every one of those scenarios that people made the wrong choices. There are a variety of reasons why we got to where we are, but the fact is this is our new reality and there is no easy way out on the horizon.
As in all things, we can learn from Jesus’ example. After the baptism in the desert by John, and after God says, “This is my beloved Son,” Jesus is in the wilderness for 40 days being tempted by Satan. (Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 4:1-10) The devil is trying to reach a compromise with Jesus. “Let’s partner together.” Then he asks Jesus to turn stones into bread And finally, Satan tells Jesus to throw himself off the temple.
In each instance, Jesus stands at the edge of a decision. He considers the consequence of each path before making a choice. He weighs each decision against his father’s will. Jesus chooses to make hard decisions that are best for His ministry, best for humankind, and most importantly, He makes decisions that will further the plan of God.
We also have to make choices. We are confronted by perhaps hundreds of choices a day. Sometimes our decisions are not well thought out, maybe even a little hasty. And maybe our cumulative choices have us asking “how did I get here?” Fortunately for us, that is not the end of the story. God’s providence includes your choices, your actions, and the consequences that flow from them. So when you make bad decisions, stupid mistakes, or careless choices, yes, you will have to live with the consequences in this world.
But not alone. And not in such a way that you have no way out. God has a hopeful plan for you that spans eternity. And no mistake of yours can undo it. The fact is we will have some ups and downs. We will make mistakes.
If you are in the process of finding a way out from those mistakes, ask God to help you change direction and lead you to Him.
Spend some time considering the choices we have made; which ones bring us life and which ones lead us to scratching our heads asking, “How did I get here?”
- The choices we make today will affect our lives in the future, but they don’t need to define who we are. Agree or disagree? Why?
- Do you believe that no matter how hard it may be to find a way out that you can make it right with God?
- Do you believe people need us to be more than we are? Who is counting on you to be more than you are?
- Pray and ask God to help you with your choices.