Monthly Archives: September 2011

A million little choices

This is a snippet of the script from a movie called, “The Paper.” Henry (Michael Keaton) is trying to convince his wife that he’ll be there when the chips are down. But every day, he makes little choices that favor his job over his family.

Martha: Let me give you a hypothetical.
Henry: Really?
Martha: A guy breaks into the apartment. – Breaks into the apartment. He’s got a gun, holds it to my head. He says, “I blow your wife’s brains out or I blow up the “Sun” building.” Choose. Now. What do you say?
Henry: What do you think I say? It’s ridiculous. It’s not gonna happen.
Martha: That is exactly my point. It is never one big dramatic choice. It is little, vague situations every day … and you’re either there or you’re not. If you keep waiting for the guy with the gun to show up, it will be too late.

Now let’s look at what Jesus had to say about “the little things” vs. “the ONLY thing:”

On the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said.  Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.”

Jesus said to another, “Follow me.” He said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.”  Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!”

Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.”  Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”

Luke 9:57-62, The Message

It occurred to me that our choice to follow Jesus is like Henry’s choice. That’s right … It’s never one big choice . .. Its a million little choices, every day, that add up to the same thing.

Jesus, or everything else? I read about the saints throughout the ages who suffered torture and death because they proclaimed Jesus. Would I be tortured or die for Jesus? I might be wrong, but I think I would. I can’t imagine a scenario where I’d be offered the choice to renounce Christ or die – and failing to choose Christ.

But that’s not likely to be a situation I face. However, I face a million little choices every day too. Choices about proclaiming Christ when it’s uncomfortable (in the office, perhaps). Choices to stand out from the crowd and honor God through behavior that might be unpopular. If I’m truly honest with myself, I almost NEVER choose Jesus in those circumstances – I’m too much of a chicken. Too afraid that people won’t like me – hence the name of this blog.

And that’s a problem. My prayer for today: That God will guide my heart in the little decisions – because when they’re about Jesus, they’re just as important as the big ones.

The Sermon on the Mount

Sometimes I think that people who don’t believe in Jesus are turned off by what they see in the church.  In this country especially, where we have a “civil religion” that many people call “Christianity” but really isn’t, it’s easy to get confused.

The best way to get around that, of course, is to forget about the church for a while – and learn who Jesus is.  Where did he go?  What did he say?  What did he do?  That’s why I love this video sermon from the Austin Stone‘s Matt Carter: He’s simply standing on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, under the Mount of Beatitudes, and reading Christ’s words from the bible.  No commentary or explanation.  Just Jesus.  It’s remarkable.

Sermon on the Mount from The Austin Stone on Vimeo.