Making choices is not always a pleasant thing to do because it calls us to take a chance; to make a decision which may not be the right or correct one. Once made, we have to live with that choice; and that can be uncomfortable. If we have chosen unwisely we live with regret; or spend much time and effort trying to redeem ourselves in other ways to reduce the adverse effects.
This is true in the reality of everyday life, and also in the spiritual life of our Faith in a relationship with God. God continuously gives us choices, and relies on us to make the correct choice. Sometimes we err, and later wonder with many regrets, forgetting about the choices we have made in our own pride and strength, rather than the Mercy of God.
Making choices which include God and God’s laws can reduce the regret we suffer, but, in most instances we keep God out of our private lives, even though some small consideration of what God would have us do would save us so much future grief. We have always have a choice, for his mercy is plentiful.
Paul had with him a runaway slave whom he named Onesimus. This slave had been in the possession of Philemon, a friend and fellow Christian. On coming to Paul he was converted and became a Christian, too. Paul now wanted to return him to his former owner, not as a slave but as Paul’s own adopted son, to be with Philemon as a fellow, and useful Christian. Onesimus, the name Paul had given him meant “Useful.” This indicated that, where before the slave had been useless, he was now to be useful in spreading the Gospel alongside Philemon.
Paul could have sent the slave back in irons to the owner he had deserted; but instead Paul chose to teach this slave about Jesus Christ. In Onesimus choosing to accept the Gospel message, and becoming a Christian, Paul insisted that Philemon and Onesimus were now equal and the love between them should grow in faith and service to God.
To Trust in God with all our heart, and to resist the pride of our strength we allow the mercy of God to accompany our decisions. Amen.
The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to email@example.com.