Choices we make shape our lives

Published 5:07 pm Saturday, October 13, 2018

By John Warren


When I am wondering the grocery store aisle looking at all the varieties before me and reading the labels to choose the healthiest product, I am overwhelmed with choices.

I miss the days where there were not so many choices.

As I have gotten a little older and more cynical, I inherited from my mom a discerning eye, to count the calories and the sugar content and sodium chart before I pick the brand of whatever it is I am searching.  So does it take me a long time to shop, my wife, says it does!

“Discipline means choices.  Every time you say yes to a goal or objective, you say no to many more.”  Sybil Stanton

If you want to teach your children about life talk to them about choices and the discipline it takes to earn those choices.  It would be good for us adults as well.

The average American household carries more debt each year.  If we want it, we buy it and pay for it later.  Ask yourself to name something you want, but then ask yourself another question.  “What am I willing to give up to get it?”

When I was in high school, I wanted to learn to play the guitar.  Many of my friends played the guitar and I was in a singing group at church.  So without any money to pay the $175 for the guitar, which was a lot of money in those days, I made a deal with my parents that I would sell the organ I had been given for Christmas when I was 9.  I had never taken lessons and could only play it by ear with one hand but I felt sure the guitar would be a better instrument for me.  I gave up the organ for the guitar.

Robert Collier said, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out . . .”

John Wesley would totally agree.  In fact, while in college trying to find a way to grow stronger in his faith he and his brother gathered a group of like-minded students and they vowed to practice what they called “means of grace.”

Things that would refocus their attention to God each day, even though they were busy students.  Things such as reading the Bible, tithing and worshipping regularly, doing acts of charity and kindness and recording when they had done these things and when they had not and why they had not.  The group’s method of staying close to God soon picked up the nickname “Methodist” because of this method of keeping close to Jesus.

So what Methodist took as their vows of membership are in actuality a method of staying close to Jesus and becoming more like him in their lives.


John Warren is Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church, 502 North 6th Street in Orange.