Though these words are small when we look at the space that they occupy on paper, they speak volumes in our collective lives; yes or no. The course of action we take is related to one of these words leading to a complex series of solutions to queries that may appear to be simple. Yes or no; it’s your choice.
We are constantly making choices. We choose this and it omits that. We accept one thing and the other is eliminated from the list. It may sometimes seem as though we have no choices. Often it is because our vision is narrow we can only see within those limits.
Everything we do each day has a way of including some things and excluding others. There is always a yes or no. It may not be clear in the forefront of our minds as we make those choices nevertheless, the inclusions and exclusions are there in the choices we make.
I am reminded of a class of fifth grade students. I was a guest (substitute) teacher for the class. I explained the homework left by the regular teacher, to the class of 33. The second I finished explaining the assignment a child’s hand sprang up in the back of the class. He had a beaming smile. When called upon he asked, “What’s going to happen if we don’t do it?” At first, I was not sure I had heard him correctly so I asked him to repeat his question. He did.
This was a capable student, the scope of the work was not too difficult for him. I came to find that he was motivated by the nos. He knew that he had choices. He knew that there were rewards for doing what was expected, yet he has chosen to make many decisions based on the limits that he could identify. If he could see the reasoning behind the no then he would go with a yes. If he could not see and agree with the reasons supporting the yes then he would align himself with the no, because he has a choice. Yes or no.
A History of Choice
The situation with that student brings to mind an epic choice recorded eons ago. Two individuals were given an opportunity to live in an environment filled with everything they needed to live a happy, healthy life. In addition they were both given a rule by which to live. They got to make the choice as to whether either of them separately or collectively would follow the rule. The rule, like the homework assignment provided for the students, was designed by the teacher for the betterment of the student. The rule was explained clearly. The individuals had the ability to follow the rule and they had a choice. They had a choice to respond with yes or no. Their course of action would indicate their response. While the request may have appeared to have been simple the complexities of the impact of their actions continue today.
The historical individuals of choice were Adam and Eve. They were commanded to eat freely of all trees in the Garden of Eden; except for one. They received the command (a rule by which a subordinate is to act). They individually and collectively responded by being disobedient. They chose no. As a result, they were subjected to the consequences associated with their response. The consequences related directly to their choices.
They exercised their ability to respond with yes or no. Clearly they were able to choose not to comply, although they were not able to choose the consequence associated with that lack of compliance. Like the student, as a subordinate, they were not privy to the long-range details of the outcome due to their limited vision.
What commandment has God placed clearly before you? What was your answer; yes or no? Did you respond with, “What will happen if I don’t do it?”! Yes or no; it’s your choice!
Take some time and ponder the latest opportunity to obey Him God has placed before you. I believe as long as we are breathing there is still time to repent and try again. Yes or no, it is your choice.
Take Inventory and Take Action! Will you respond with yes or no? Do you believe God? Would you rather exercise your choice regardless of the unseen consequences? Remember you can choose to be disobedient however, you cannot choose your consequences, and those consequences may impact yet untold numbers of other individuals. Yes or no; it’s your choice!
“Lighting the path to loving your neighbor as yourself.”