Sunday, September 28, 2008

free will - which door will you choose?

There are three doors. Each one marked accordingly and has a time limit to reach your final destination.

Door No. 1 - Eternal happiness laden with troubles, possible lion capture, tiger bites, malaria, physical beating, other hardships may arise, such as broken hearts, broken spirit and loneliness. Length of time: 70 years.

Door No. 2 - Eternal damnation but road is comfortable, no possible physical injury, rose petals on the road, comfort, relative ease of living, worldly love, no effort to live, a limousine will take you there. Length of time: 20 years.

Door No. 3 - Crossroads that lead to eternal happiness and eternal damnation. May lead to a comfortable life or not, could experience thorns along the way as well as sunny patches. Length of time: 100 years.

Which would you choose?

Life is not as simple as choosing doors. Neither is it as easy as finding doors that are accordingly marked. It's more of a guessing game really with subtle clues whether we are going the right way or not.

During the past week, that's been the topic of conversation, between friends, and a even the message at Church this Sunday. We all have a choice to say "yes" or "no" to God because He always says "yes" to us. His resounding "yes" was the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross to save us from all our sins.

He has also given us the power to choose. A friend of mine related to me that last Sunday's message at her church was that God was the Great Orchestrator. I asked her what that meant. She pictured an orchestra and God had the score sheet. Each musician had the choice to follow the conductor or not. The strings could move up, the wind could go down ... it could be a cacophony instead of harmony. I said wouldn't it be nice to see the score sheet so that we'd know what to do. She said that it could be complicated and harder if we saw the Great Plan. She has a point, it could be confusing ... When we see a map, do we actually know where to go? It's not as easy as that. She said, that we have to look at the signs. I said what are the signs? She said it could be the Bible or experiences or people. I would like to quote another friend who says that God is His GPS. God Positioning System. Even if we stray, He's still there at the end of the road leading us back to the right path.

Going back to the possibly cacophonic orchestra and to what my friend said, each musician has a choice whether to follow the conductor or not, to play or not, to rise with each beat or to go softer. Here lies the freedom. Some of us have a rough idea what the music is supposed to sound like but when we play on our own, it doesn't seem to be as majestic. It actually may sound wrong. But when put together, the harmony becomes an intricate web of music that is not only pleasing to the ears but revelationary for the musician. "Ah, that's why I had to play that way because it could only be played a certain way to achieve that effect." But oftentimes, we don't see the big picture. In our own decisions, we think we are alone. We don't realize that it's more of a Domino Effect.

Sometimes, it's easier to say that "We didn't have a choice". There are instances where this is a true statement but unless somebody has a gun to your head or threatens your life, we all have a choice whether to open doors 1, 2 or 3. Sometimes, we say that life is short so why not take Door No. 2. Afterall, we're all bound to die, we might as well have it easy in our earthly life. Door No. 1 seems to be a masochistic life and who would wilfully suffer to gain eternal life? It's a crazy idea ... Isn't it? Or is it? (Jesus did it!) Door No. 3 are those that like to sit on the fence. One day on the road to Door No. 2 and sometimes Door No. 1. It takes 100 years because there's a 50 per cent chance of reaching both doors.

There's no real easy way to decide. It's sometimes easier just to sit and watch life go by. It's tiring too. But much of life is dictated by us. We can be born into a poor family but we have a choice to make an effort to rise up from poverty. We can have wealth but choose to not give. The effort it takes to discern and to plan and to see the signs that God gives us along the way is life-consuming. We have a choice to make something of our lives. A choice that is not clear-cut from the get-go but at least allows you to move from place to place. Whether it's to Door No. 1 or Door No. 2 is the risk we take. Let's just hope the signs lead to the right way.

The choice is ours.

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