What was the most difficult decision you've ever had to make? I know that there are people all over the world making tougher decisions that I will likely ever have to make, but I think that the toughest decision I ever had to make was that of becoming a pastor. I never wanted to be a pastor; my goal in life was to become a pediatric doctor. It wasn't until after a year and a half of studies that God moved me to switch career tracks into that of theology (pastoral studies). I really grappled with that decision for a long time. Both are great aspirations; both are in the service of others; both are great ministries that help those in need, but only one of those paths would lead to my spiritual health. I know there are doctors who are very spiritually healthy, and there are pastors who are spiritually dying, but the way my life was going only one of those paths would be good for me spiritually. I had the choice of choosing my own path, or choosing the path God was impressing on my heart. One of the hardest things was breaking the news to my family. Even a year after my graduation with a degree in Religious Studies my family asked if I had plans to go to Med School still. As difficult as the road of pastoral ministry has been (and continues to be) for me, I can't imagine where I would be with God had I not chosen this path.
15 Look at what I’ve done for you today:
I’ve placed in front of you
Life and Good
Death and Evil.
16 And I command you today:
Love the LORD, your God.
Walk in his ways.
Keep his commandments, regulations,
and rules so that you will live, really live,
live exuberantly, blessed by the LORD, your God
Deuteronomy 30:15, 16 (MSG)
Life is full of different choices. Some will be easy and others more difficult. But every so often we are faced with a choice to begin our journey down one of two paths. God, in love, has given us the freewill to choose whether or not we follow Him. He places the choice of life and good, and death and evil. We know that to follow God is to choose life, and that to follow anything else is to choose the path of death. Not every choice will always be as clear cut as it appears, but every choice leads us further down one road or another. The difficult thing about choosing the path of life is that we often have to fight against our own tendencies, our own desires, and our own selfish interests. Making the choice to be a pastor may sound like an easy choice to some but for me it was incredibly difficult. The only reason I was able to make that choice was because I decided to lead God lead in my life to guide me to the path of life. It's not always easy to choose God, especially when the world and the enemy make choosing other paths seem more appealing, but as we continue to surrender our hearts to the Holy Spirit He begins to transform us to be able to make that choice to follow God. The more we surrender our own selfish will to God the more we become guided to follow His path, the path of life. While the path of life will not always be free of struggles and difficulties it does bring peace knowing that you are walking alongside the God who will never abandon you.
25 I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean.
I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you.
26 I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it
with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed.
27 I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you
to do what I tell you and live by my commands.
28 You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors.
You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!
Ezekiel 36:25-28 (MSG)
God I pray that you would create in me a new heart. Scrub me clean of all of me that clings on to the world around me, and put in a new spirit in me; a spirit that longs only for you. Help me to focus my life on you, and to choose everyday the path of life that you have set before me. Help me to accept the sacrifice of your son, Jesus, and live. AMEN