From Tragedy To The Thankfulness of Choice

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever” (I Chronicles 16:34, NAS).
It’s Thanksgiving. We’re in a state of relating our blessings around the bountiful table. We rattle off our gratefulness of the ‘things’ in our lives.
But not long ago sixteen people felt grateful as they began their day like any other day. We can surmise they had lists to choose from as to their importance, calendars to check, newspapers to read, coffee, juice or tea to drink. Finally back packs, briefcases were grabbed and the slamming of doors signaled another ordinary day had begun.
Little did nine of them know their daily routine would end. Choices as to what to do or not do, or what could be put off, or not done until felt like it, would no longer be an option, because a gunman made their decision for them.
I don’t think we ponder deeply the opportunity we have in making choices. We encounter different degrees everyday from the mundane: “Do I buy an orange or an apple?” To the complex: “This stock over that one.” To the personal: “I know I should but…” To the spiritual: “I need to turn my life around, but I’m not ready. I want to investigate and study the facts if Christ is the real Savior. Forgiveness sounds great, but I’ve been hurt, and let down by so called Christians. What about them? What’s the hurry? I have time.”
But do we know when ‘later’ will come? Are we clairvoyant? Then we face the end of a gun barrel with a man asking what is our religion. For a fraction of a second it’s possible we think, “Oh, my god, I thought I had time.” We thought there was time to make the choice between the NOW of the world and the ETERNAL of forever.
Its interesting God didn’t give us a choice as to which one we should zero in on. He said Joshua 24:15, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” It isn’t the mundane that will give us our eternal choice of forever.
Why do we wait until a tragedy comes to make decisions we know in our hearts are there waiting to complete? We can’t get to heaven by good works, or by following the teachings of a religion, or by giving of money. Jesus clearly said, “ I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NKJV). No human effort will produce eternal life. The only work that can save is through Christ. “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom he has sent” (John 6:29).
This Thanksgiving are we thankful for the ‘things’ of life, or for the moment we had in making our choice for Eternity. Dear reader, don’t wait for the tragedy of the gunman. Rejoice, there’s still time.
Which ones of the nine said, “Lord into your hands.” What can you say?