I stretched out on the sofa and opened a bag of potato chips and turned to the TV show I’d chosen.
I could have read a book, played with a puzzle, called a friend, scrubbed the kitchen, gone to bed, mended my husband’s shirts (his jaw would have dropped open), ironed my husband’s shirts (his jaw would have hit the floor), patched up the hole in the ceiling where a plant used to hang or just meditated on that hole in the ceiling.
My choice was to watch a movie. I also watched a commercial. I could have turned off the TV, gone to the bathroom, raided the fridge, vacuumed the carpet or closed my eyes and covered my ears and hummed.
During the commercial, something significant happened. A revelation. A light bulb in the dim attic. Something that maybe made choosing to watch the commercial a worthwhile activity after all.
It was an advertisement for a candy bar. Wishing my bag of chips was really a bag of chocolates, I thought of how many candy bars there are.
We have square bars, long bars, short bars, chunky bars and nutty bars; candy that’s fruit-filled, cookie-filled and candy-filled; tiny bits and giant Kisses, minty ones, diet ones, hard ones, chewy ones; the kind that melt in your mouth (not in your hands) and the kind that sticks to your teeth.
To get it off your teeth you can brush with the toothpaste that four out of five dentists recommend or toothpaste that freshens your breath, toothpaste that tastes like mint or toothpaste that tastes like the candy already in your teeth.
And think of all the kinds of chips I could have been munching on.
Our choices are nearly endless. Which is why it takes me two hours to go through the grocery store. Of course, I could choose the small convenience store down the street.
More than ever before, we have choices. Not only grocery store choices and leisure time choices, but more important choices, many of which are moral choices.
Should we marry instead of live like we’re married? Should we have children? Small family or large? Should we abort unwanted pregnancies? Should we test the unborn to see if it’s healthy or the right sex? Should we foster the child who has problems finding a home? Should we take care of elderly parents? Should we donate money?
Perhaps the most significant question: Do we choose to ask God what he wants us to decide? And even more important: How do I know I’m hearing God’s answer and not my own will?
Reflection question for family discussion:
What kind of help is available for figuring out what God’s will is when we have decisions to make?
Holy Spirit, help us to know and do Your will. We choose to hear Your guidance even in small decisions. Teach us to distrust our own ideas about the choices we face, so that we become more dependent on You.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries