Failure to Choose is a Choice
This week we have been on vacation with my family, the Vias. Our annual tradition is to spend a week with the entire Via family at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia. This year, we rented a house with direct access to the lake as usual, only with four grand babies in the picture (our Areyna and Ezekiel, Jonathan and Kelly’s Cana, and Jeremiah and Jenn’s Ella) the house had to be ginormous. (Of course ginormous is a real word. I make up real words all the time). Indeed, it was. A room for every married couple. We like it that way.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that the key to surviving a Via family vacation consists of two things. One, you definitely need a good pair of goggles for treasure hunting under boat docks. Without this essential ingredient, your vacation will have been found wanting. And two, unquestionably you need butt loads of food.
Without failing, every year it seems that the junk food outweighs the real food 3 to 1. And I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. Nor do I think it is any less consistent with the growing trend of the majority of the American population. We Vias are just doing our part to keep these statistics accurate. Regardless, junk food dominates on our vacations.
As I was reading Scripture one morning this week I came across an interesting verse in 2 Chronicles. Yea, I know what you’re thinking – the boring book with all the hard to pronounce names. Well, I guess I’m just a boring guy, but believe it or not as I was reading through it I found some extremely not-so-boring stuff. Chapter 12 talks about a king named Rehoboam who was supposed to be a godly guy, but, well, wasn’t. Verse 14 says, Rehoboam did what was evil, because he did not determine in his heart to seek the Lord.
Did you see it? As soon as I read that verse, it was like fireworks going off inside of me. I finally realized what the problem is with most of my generation who call themselves Christians but live like hell. The state we find ourselves in is exactly where Rehoboam found himself. It’s the state of non-determination. Too often, many of us have never determined in our hearts to seek the Lord. We don’t usually wake up one day and decide to live our lives in contradistinction to God. We often don’t make a conscious decision to live like hell, but in our failure to determine in our hearts to choose to seek the Lord, that’s exactly what happens.
We are the Rehoboam generation. We are people who think that we can get by with never making a conscious decision to follow Christ with everything that is in us. So, in our failure to choose, we essentially choose evil. There’s no middle ground.
Remember the junk food at the Via vacations? Most of the time, I don’t have to think about eating junk food when I’m on vacation. You know what? It just happens. It happens because it’s there and it’s there in abundance. You know what would have to happen for me not to eat junk food on vacation? One of two things. First, I would either have to starve myself (of which the probabilities of this happening are about as certain as the probabilities of Madonna becoming a nun). Or second, I would have to make a conscious choice to eat the right kinds of foods. UREEEEKA! (Thank you Nintendo’s Duck Tales). I could determine in my heart to eat right. I could determine in my soul to choose watermelon over ho-hos. I could determine in the deepest darkest bowels of my heart of hearts to choose a peach over a box of cheese nips. But, if I choose not to choose the right food, guess what? Junk food happens. Thats just the way it is.
Now, this is what has happened to our generation of choose nots. We think that by not determining in our hearts to seek the Lord, we can play it safe in the middle ground. But, there is no middle ground. There is no safe zone. By not choosing God, we choose evil. By not determining to follow God, we follow evil. By failing to choose Christ, we choose the enemy.
“The focus of your objective, therefore, is to be purified so that it is concentrated and right, and is to be directed toward Me (God), despite all the various circumstances that may come between you and your objective.” – Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ.