While I do try fairly often to give thanks for some of life’s, often taken for granted gifts, such as the safety and shelter of my home including a warm bed: access to running water: friendships: companionship and more: it wasn’t until quite recently that it occurred to me to give thanks for the “freedom to choose.”
I am trying hard, under medical advice, to slim down a bit. The same medical person who tells me I may in the future need corrective surgery for arthritis in my hips, has also advised me that it would be in my body’s best interest to lessen the load it has to carry here and there every day! On asking his advice as to how to go about doing this he replied, “I can’t advise any one trademark diet over another. I’ve seen them all come and go. I have however seen the 5:2 diet work for several of my patients”
I checked it out, felt it would suit my personality, so I’m giving it a go. Now twice a week I get to choose not to eat as much as I do on the other five days of the week. And its working, as very slowly, week by week the load these poor old bones have to carry around is being lessened. Of course like any “diet” it will be choosing to keep at it which will make the real difference.
(I’ve been given up to three years to get to what my GP thinks would be a healthy weight for me. Three years! So yes please prayers will be gratefully received that I can keep on keeping on with this)
Meantime, now when I on a “2” day get to choose not to eat so much I can’t help but think of those who don’t get to choose to eat any day of the week. When I choose to trick my body into thinking it’s fuller than it is by drinking lots of extra fluids, I can’t help but think of the many who have no choice but to walk miles every day to get access to their drinking water. When I moan about having to cast a vote in yet another election I can’t but help think of the many who don’t have that choice, and who, if wanting just to survive, have to do what they are told, or suffer the consequences. Every day, if I want, I get to choose to purchase new, sometimes luxury items, when many have no choice but to leave everything they know and love, including family and friends, and then head out into a bewildering unsafe unknown, with not much more than the shirt on their back. When many Christians have to meet in secret, I get to choose each Sunday to go to worship, or not. And of course one choice which I suspect most of us face on a regular basis, and which Jesus advises us, if we are in any way wise to do, is to forgive others.
“Forgive us our sins, debts, trespasses, just like we likewise choose to forgive others” Matthew 6;12
In the same sermon about the prodigal son, which I referred to in my previous “shoes and feet with more to come” blog, the minister that day also said people sometimes ask him why when the father knew of the sons pig-sty living conditions, did he not just go and rescue him from there? I tell them “it’s because God always leaves us the free will to “choose”to turn, or return back into His welcome home embrace”
All of which comes back as a reminder to be thankful for the “freedom to choose,”and so I pray…
“Father thank you today for the freedom to choose. Forgive me when I take that freedom for granted. When I have to make what I might think of as hard choices, remind me of those who today will no choice at all…The sex worker, the child slave, the child brides who are given no choice or say in who they marry, the homeless person sleeping on the street, the carer caring 24/7 who is unable to take time off…And also Lord in any choices I do have to make, let me ever wise to constantly pause, and to listen for your directions as to your, “plans for good, with your hope as my boundary” best way forward. (Jeremiah 29:11)
So thank you Lord today for the freedom to choose. Amen.”
Yours in Him,
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice saying, “this is the way walk in it”” Isaiah 30:21