On Saturday mornings it was tradition to watch cartoons, from the time I woke up until 10 o’clock when my chores would begin. Sprinkled throughout the cartoons would be Public Service Announcements (PSAs) about being safe in a forest with fire, not polluting the environment or littering along the roads. Some of my favorite PSAs included Yuck Mouth and the Time for Timer-“Hanker for a hunk of Cheese.”
Yuck Mouth was all about learning to have good dental care so our teeth were clean and in good health.
His whole presence reminded me of rotting foods. It was very clever to introduce to young kids who were eating sugary cereals, I think. The other PSA, Time for Timer, focused on making good choices when eating snacks.
I often saw these two PSAs back-to-back, a sort of don’t-make-poor-choices-make-better-choices. The lyrics to each of the choruses still echo in my head all these years later.
As I’ve grown older, I continue to look for the either/or option of life. Whether it is a choice of cereal, movies, even flannel shirts, I come back to the poor choices vs. better choices. When I started reading the Bible, I realized our choices are as old as Creation itself.
God presented to Adam and Eve all of the Garden of Eden, except for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:9). We all know how that decision turned out. God still gave them another chance though and through it, we have the same choice available to us today (John 3:16, Romans 10:9).
We all have these kinds of choices. Ephesians 4:17-31 gives examples of who were were and who we are now in Christ. As believers we take off the tattered, dirty rags of our old life, our sin life and put on the robes of righteousness, the robes of grace and mercy, the holiness that comes from Christ.
In the wilderness, on the side of the Jordan River, Joshua and Moses gathered all the Israelites and told them that they had to make a choice. Deuteronomy 27 explains that before the Israelites crossed over the Jordan they were to walk between two mountains and written on stones would be the blessings of following God and His commandments on one side, the curses and consequences of disobeying God and His commandments were on the other side. The ultimate billboard advising them of what their choices would bring.
Later in Deuteronomy 30:14-16 comes another reminder, But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you and do it. See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the lORD your God will blessings you i the land that you are entering to take possession if it.
And if that was not enough of a reminder Moses continues, I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Best Beloved, I do not know the choices you make each day. When we see these words, however, it is clear that God desires we choose Him we choose a life of life and of following Him.
It’s a choice that can be difficult, but from eternity’s perspective, is worth it.
Every single time.