We make a million decisions everyday. From the minute we wake up, each one of us is bombarded with choices that are in need of deciding. Most of the time these choices seem very arbitrary, such as what should I wear today, or what should I have for breakfast. But as seemingly inconsequential as these decisions may seem they are all influenced by a countless number of factors. Personal preferences, as well as other demographics, shape our decision-making process, and this is only speaking of the small decisions that we don’t put much thought into. Larger decisions require study, planning, and for some people prayer. On these larger decisions, when presented with enough support in one direction, we feel like we can move forward. The outcome may be varied. It is in these decisions that we weigh through the gray, hoping for the best. After much thought, study and discussion the outcome of many decisions can rarely be seen as black and white, but there are a few that can only have two possible outcomes.
In our house, decision-making has become something that is constant in the teaching of our children. I tend to wrestle with the larger decisions, and to be honest, a lot of the smaller ones. I carry around a decision until it is analyzed over and over again until it would seem a certain outcome can be assured. Once the decision is made it is followed by a peace that everything has been thought out to the conclusion. Often, when that conclusion doesn’t come to pass I will try to go back and reflect on what might have not been accounted for.
My wife comes to decisions a little differently. My daughter, much more so. With her, my wife and I both try to lay out all the possible outcomes for her in the decisions that she makes. If you do this, you can’t do that. If this happens, then this is likely to happen. I receive joy when I see my daughter stop and think, even for a moment, through a choice, but often those choices are decided very quickly without much thought. Now these are all very small choices she is making. Very few, if any, will have a lasting effect on who she grows up to be. Hopefully they are preparing her for the decisions and choices she will be forced to make as she grows into adulthood. She will enter a world filled with gray, but I pray that one of the very few black and white truths that she will hold to is the place of Jesus in her life.
This time of year brings this decision to the forefront. Virtually everyone, is faced with the question of the death and resurrection and subsequent lordship of Jesus. The media, as well as much of the internet and other sources focus on this question. As believers we reflect on the love that God has shown us in Jesus and how that shapes our lives and how we walk forward with him. For others it may be seen as simply tradition. For some they choose to ignore the question. But it is clear… Either God raised Jesus from the dead and he is lord of all or we are all mistaken and living lives of futility.
The evidence given over time cannot be more clear. Seemingly since the crucifixion there have been constant theories about the resurrection that try to refute it but they have been consistently disproven, time and again. So we are left at the decision. Is Jesus who he says he is, and if so how does this relationship affect my life? When discussing resurrection, but in particular the resurrection of Jesus in 1 Corinthians, Paul describes a pretty bleak world,
“And if Christ has not been raised,
then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
We are even found to be misrepresenting God,
because we testified about God that he raised Christ,
whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we
have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” 1 Corinthians 15:14-20
But, if we study and, in turn, believe the evidence presented for the resurrection of Christ, we are forgiven for our sins because of the great love God has for his children. Christ is viewed in his rightful place at the right hand of the father and he is given the glory and lordship that is due. We arrive at this decision because we begin to experience the deep love that only God has for us that envelops and overwhelms us.
I pray that we would hold the concrete truth of the resurrection close to us throughout the year. That the firmness of our conviction in this truth would help us to walk closer with Jesus each and every day. That the gray that the world would present us would be drowned out by his light.