Just imagine ~ you are given two choices. The choice you make will span the rest of your life. There will be no going back, no do-overs. God holds out both hands, looks you in the eye and says, "Choose. I will honor and bless it."
The first hand opens. Inside it rests the dream life, the one you always wanted but never thought possible. This will look different for everyone. For me, it's a rustic but comfortable estate on the northern coast, surrounded by water and pine trees and flowers. Wildlife abounds. All my loved ones live within walking distance. We are healthy, energetic, strong. Our pets can run free. We have the means to do whatever we please. Travel, entertain, you name it. They are all at our fingertips, and money isn't even an issue to be considered.
The one catch ~ that hand, it has to be all about you. The blessings will pour down upon you like rich spring rains. But they stop there. You do not possess the power to extend them to others. What you are given, you must keep for yourself.
God opens His other hand. The inside doesn't look so attractive. In fact, there is service, hard work, and a fair share of heart ache. You look closer. Doors you didn't know existed open wide. These doors lead to places and people ~ hungry, hurting, lost, empty. You possess the power to walk through those doors. You have resources to feed, minister to, encourage, and love on the countless people huddled inside that other hand.
"Go ahead. Choose. Which hand do you want? I will honor your request."
You look at the first hand again. It looks so appealing! Everything you ever dreamed of for this life, it's right there! It couldn't be a more idyllic picture. Really? All this could be mine?
Your eyes wander back to the second hand. You see the faces. People, young and old, hopeless in their condition. Not knowing which way to turn. You realize, choosing this hand means you give up that other life of comfort and ease.
Your mind latches onto the first hand. Oh, how nice it would be to sit by the water, read a good book, play with the dogs, and invite your friends over for a meal worthy of a magazine cover.
But your heart, it is drawn to the other hand. So many people, in such desperate need. While they tug on your heartstrings, you can't help but think of the hard work the second hand holds. It certainly would be a far cry from the comfortable first hand God showed you.
Your decision is clear. There's no turning back. You made your choice. But you remember his words and his promises. He will honor and bless it...
We don't live in a world that demands one extreme or another. But this visual got me thinking. Which hand would I choose? Honestly? I am grateful I don't have to make that decision. But everyday, I do make a choice. Does my life move in the direction of the first hand, or the second? Am I more consumed with myself and my own comfort and desires in this fleeting life? Or am I learning what it means to set my self aside and put others first?
I know what Jesus would do. May I find myself following his example! I don't want to look back one day and be filled with regrets. I want to have peace that I gave myself to him and to others in increasing measure. I want to make a difference. I want to get to that place where I would grab hold of the second hand if he ever asked me to choose.
How about you? Which hand are you most drawn to? I don't believe God wants to guilt us into changing our lives. I think he wants to grow us into people who live with greater purpose and joy, people who will have a positive impact on the people and the world around us. That he can use us to bless others? Just imagine!
"We know that we have been created for greater things, not just to be a number in the world, not just to go for diplomas or degrees, this work and that work. We have been created in order to love and be loved." ~Mother Teresa