Friday, February 23, 2007

Making The Good Choice

“I thought I didn’t have a choice about being the Batman. That Gotham City chose me to protect her. That is wrong. Ever since the night my parents were taken from me, I made the choice. It means that some of my hearts desires may go unfulfilled…But many more are satisfied…It is a good choice.” ~ Bruce Wayne; Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1: Choices (Jeph Loeb writer; Tim Sale artist)

Choices. Life is filled with decisions and the choices we make determine the direction our lives take. For Bruce Wayne the choices he made led him to become Batman. While our choices might not lead to such a melodramatic lifestyle they still determine what we do with our lives.

The choice to become a Christian is a choice that will affect every area in our lives, just as Bruce Wayne’s decision to become Batman ended up affect every other area of his life. The two are inseparable. To be a Christian means to surrender our entire life to God’s will. Everything that we do and say is measured against the fact that we belong to God.

This also means that we will not always be able to indulge every desire of our heart. Sometimes what we desire will lead to sin and away from God’s will. Other times choosing to follow God’s will will take us away from good things we desire. Missionaries who give up friends, families, and a culture which is familiar to them so they can take God’s love to the world are examples of this truth. To choose one path often means the desires which are found down a different path will go unfilled.

The good life is not found in all of our desires being met. The good life is found in giving our lives away to something which is bigger than ourselves. Doing something that is of significant and which impacts the lives of others. That is the main reason why Jesus tells us that the life found in Him is the full life (John 10:10). It is not full because Jesus gives us every desire of our hearts, but it is full because that way of life leads to purpose and meaning. We may miss out on some desires, but the longer we are Christians we realize that many more desires are fulfilled. Most of these are desires we didn’t even know we had until God revealed them as we followed Jesus.

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return. ~ 2 Timothy 4:6-8; NLT

The Apostle Paul, near the end of his life, looks back over that life and tells Timothy; “I have no regrets.” For Paul the life he had chosen by following Jesus, with all of its hardships and disappointments, was exactly the right choice. He had no regrets about giving up his life as a Pharisee, which promised him an easier path, to accept the life Jesus offered him. Though Paul was beaten, shipwrecked, stoned, jailed, and experienced other hardships he was pleased with the life he had lived. It had been good because it brought Him closer to God, and that made the passage of death not a horrible ending, but the next necessary step in his relationship with God.

Being Batman is not easy for Bruce Wayne, but it is the path that led to his greatest desire. Being a Christian is not easy, but it is the path that leads to our greatest desire. It is a good choice.

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