Bear Choices

Choices – we make them every day. Years ago (like 15!),  I remember telling my senior high Sunday school class during prayer time that I wanted them to pray for our family because we had an important decision to make.  I can’t remember what the decision was but I do remember one of the young men asking, “What, you’re changing peanut butter brands?”

It is Monday morning and for you non-ministry readers, that is the preacher’s Saturday.  Tom and I had already planned to have a date today instead of doing the usual “off-day type” errand runs.  At 7:05, the phone rang with a serious difficulty.  At 7:30, phone rang again.  I had decided to do my aerobics but the TV wouldn’t work.  In the fifteen minutes that we were together, two “conflicts” occurred.  So, we regrouped and made some tactical choices because we know from experience, that Satan loves to ruin our off days! I decided to walk instead of doing the aerobics.

I love to walk our dead-end dirt road and usually take Pepper, our fierce little cocker spaniel with me; but after last nights torrential downpour, I go it alone.  As I’m walking, I’m thinking about the bear that one of the men saw last night on the property – a big bear, he said.  Should I turn around? I’m picturing the bear I saw last night on facebook.  (Thanks, Joan for the photo!) Yes, I turn around; but then I decide God can protect me.  As I continue to walk, I’m thinking though all the worst scenarios.  Dying by a bear attack wouldn’t be pleasant!  So I stop and talk to God, and  as I look down both ends of the road, I realize that this is exactly what we do when we make choices.  This choice is driven by two thoughts: fear and common sense.  I fear the bear and it’s foolish to tempt God.

The other alternate route is down Route 184.  Now we are in the epicenter of the gas drilling.  There are trucks coming in every direction, SO… I decide to jump the little stream and walk through the neighboring business’ front yard.  There’s a small incline and as I jump I feel something pop in my foot.  As I’m hobbling home, I’m thinking again, “Great, Tom and I just decided to walk the PA Grand Canyon today!!!  I should have opted for the bear!”

Have you ever made a choice – prayed about a choice, and then everything seemed to go wrong?  We all have.  Did I make the wrong choice?  I don’t believe so.  Well, maybe the choice to jump the stream was a wrong choice!

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Pro 3:5,6)

coupled with Romans 8:28

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,”

are the two guideposts in helping us to make and accept wise decisions.  It was a small decision, but I did pray there in the middle of the dirt road and sought God’s guidance.  I was trusting God and not leaning on my own understanding.  I acknowledged him, and I believe He directed.  Now, after a day at the doctor’s office and the hospital for x-rays instead of the quiet walk in the woods (which was also to include Bible reading and prayer), I lean on Romans 8:28.  Was it the day I would have planned, absolutely not; however, choosing to go through it while continuing to acknowledge my God and keep a smile on my face WAS God’s will for me in this one!

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