Heh. Lately my conscience has been on overdrive.
I like to think that God has provided the path of free will to us as a means to know him better. And He is not a dictator. He is a loving God, one who gave us a choice to love him or not. When we choose to make a decision that is not in line with his path (because if we believe the Bible we know his path is the right way), we have to live with the consequences of our choice. Rick Warren says, “While you’re free to choose anything you want to do in life, you’re not free from the consequences. The consequences are part of the choice.” Doesn’t free will seem like, not free then? It’s a double edge sword.
I’m going to be very real for a few moments. When it comes to this conscience and morality stuff…guess I should define that too:
I have it on good authority that I know right from wrong. I have good moral character. Some might have said too good when I was young. I knew who was leading me, so it didn’t matter to me what others thought. As I have aged and had to make decisions (they get harder as you grow up), things have become unclear in my conscience. Not the right or wrong – well maybe a little – but who is making the decision.
Sometimes I question everything I do, even though I know right from wrong and so I turned to this –> Have you ever done this? “God, I don’t know what to do so just go ahead – just make the choice for me.” Geesh, did I just become deterministic? In that statement I surrendered my free will! I have, recently, asked God to make a decision for me…a decision that I think is too hard for me to make. A decision that will have outcomes that I do not want to imagine. If I have to decide one way or another, I don’t favor any consequences.
This past weekend a crossroads was met where I needed to gain clarity and guidance. I needed to hear God’s voice or at least get everyone else’s out of my head. So, I left my three sweet souls at home with my husband and trudged off to the rock, as I like to call it. I believe there is energy in the earth that can be tapped into, an unyielding presence of energy that is soft and flowing if only we allow ourselves a moment to listen. I went to the rock.
For four hours I listened on top of that mountain: felt, opened up, prayed, sung to the heavens, sunbathed (not intentionally), watched life, and poured over my choices. I melted into the circles of hard earth.
I told myself I would not come down until I knew I was 100% ready to make a conscientious decision. The last hour I put a couple of songs on repeat, let my body relax into the rock and praised Him. Within that hour, I heard his voice and I felt a gentle movement. Not a rumble or a roar but a patient and kind flutter. I suppose I did not need some earthquake to shake up my world any more. I also heard him say, “I’m not taking this Melissa. This is your choice to make…but I will guide you.” It was in that instant that I knew it was time to leave. I love it when a knowing comes upon me – to actually have a clear and concise path. I then found comfort in this scripture:
“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.” -Deuteronomy 30:19-20
There it is – Free Will. He gives us life and death, blessings and curses, love or no love. And he guides us! He simply says, “choose life” (not death). We have a choice because he is not a dictator. He is our father and our guide. He wants us to want to love him, to want his guidance, to follow his will and to listen. He will never force us and he will never choose for us because he tells us to choose for ourselves.
That evening I left the mountain with a renewed sense of belonging. I gained the perspective that I can’t sit back and expect God to make my choices for me, because like a parent, if we make choices for our kids all their lives…they will never fall, never grow, and never move out! We need to teach them how to use their conscience and morals to guide them through life. We need to show them how to see the beauty and gravity in free will and then, hopefully, they will see beauty in life’s choices.
Be blessed and bless others