My graduate studies in addiction led to a deep, passionate call to lead people out of bondage and into freedom, from brokenness to wholeness, from isolation to connection, from lost and ignorant to redeemed and creative - to somehow serve in helping them choose life instead of death, every day.
Before Moses died he had a chance to address the people of Israel. He made a big long speech and at the end of it he said, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20a NIV)
Life and death had been set before God’s people time and time again, and time and time again they chose death. But here he tells them “how” to choose life - love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. I don’t know about you, but there are times that I try to make life a whole lot more complicated than it is. If life is complicated then it’s easier to explain our mistakes away, more acceptable to mistreat people, and generally excuse our outrageously ridiculous behavior because…well, no one else understands – and it’s complicated!
Choose life by loving, listening, and holding fast. It’s actually not that complicated.
In verse 11, he says, “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.”...Seriously? The Israelites are poor, homeless folks that have been eating the same thing for a really long time. They have seen their families die in the desert and have chosen death and disobedience day after day. Everything sounds difficult! They are living their lives WAY down at the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. But he still says it.
Choose life by loving, listening, and holding fast. It’s not too difficult.
Life can be complicated and difficult. No one has figured it out yet. No one has a comprehensive, globally accepted theory for why people choose to die - or WHY they behave in any way at all. Maybe we get so caught up in the complications and difficulties of the “why,” that we forget that the solution – the “how." It actually isn’t that difficult.
Choose life by loving, listening, and holding fast. Then choose it again in an hour, and tomorrow, and next week, and next year. Choose life!