I think back on many of the decisions that I made that affected my destiny…
I bailed on the Boy Scouts after just making Second Class. Would I have been a better, more disciplined person in high school and my first two years in college?
I started dating Betty as a Junior in High School. Clearly a good decision that has blessed my life for almost 59 years.
I applied for Navy Officers Candidate School after college mainly because I couldn’t go to graduate school. I didn’t want to be a foot soldier during the Vietnam years. My ship went to Vietnam twice and I served with some of the finest men I have ever known… especially my Captain who taught me what honor and duty are all about by giving me responsibilities far beyond my age and maturity. He was a role model for the man I became.
I decided to go to graduate school after the Navy just so I could use the GI Bill and the school recruiting services.
After graduate school, I joined Procter and Gamble. That decision taught me a lot about discipline, making decisions, being comfortable before people and how to write clearly and briefly to make a point. P&G taught me what ethics means as it made some hard, very ethical decisions that cost the company a lot of money, but it was the right things to do. P&G also taught me to be flexible as I had 10 different responsibilities in 5 different cities.
I decided to retire early which cost me a lot in retirement earnings, but it helped Betty and me start our avocation of pastoral counseling. We still do it and we still love it.
All of these decisions were important and they did affect my future in significant ways. However, they pale in comparison to the decision I made when I was 39.
Jesus said a lot of things that were and still are very radical.
Jesus said he was God. He said heaven and hell are real. He said there is an enemy of our souls whose name is Satan. He said the only way to God the Father was through him.
One of the most important things Jesus said was a question to his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” The author and theologian C. S. Lewis said there are only three possible answers to that question.
The idea of him being a good person, a good teacher are intellectually shallow and dishonest. Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic or he was and still is God. Those are the only intellectually honest answers based on what he said.
The first two choices, liar or lunatic, lead to a lifetime and eternity separated from God. The third choice, Jesus is God, leads to a lifetime and eternity in relationship with God. Fortunately, I made the third decision and it changed my life.
I am so thankful I didn’t blow that decision.