by Thom Lemmons
Youve probably seen the commercial: a guy and his girlfriend are sitting in a bar, and a basketball game is on the TV screen just above the girlfriends head. The camera, showing his viewpoint, focuses initially on the girlfriend. But inevitably, our vision switches to the basketball game. She waves us down. Are you listening to me or watching the game? We try to refocus on her, but finally, it becomes too much. We grab our bottle of Miller Lite and thump it on the table. Instantly she begins lip synching the play-by-play, allowing us to listen to her without missing the game. The moral: Life is GoodLite. Get it? No longer must you choose between courtesy to your girlfriend and a ball game, between great taste and less filling. With the Lite lifestyle, theres no need for tough choices.
When was the last time you picked up lifes remote and contemplated switching channels on an education, a job, a friendship, a church, or maybe a marriage? If so, youve slammed up against one of lifes most annoying realitiesthe inevitability of choice. Contrary to the slogan, you cant have it all: you must make choices. Some will be obvious, and some will happen almost unconsciously. But all have consequences, and the sum of those consequences forms your destiny.
Heres the crucial question: by what criteria will you choose? Our cultures most popular alternative is happiness. During the seventies we heard, If it feels good, do it. Nowadays, we hear about self-actualization, listening to the inner child, or following your heart. But often, self-focused pursuit of personal happiness exacts a steep toll from peripheral relationships. Happiness, like the rainbow, is the by-product of something else. Chasing happiness for its own sake is doomed to frustration and ultimate failure. Like Tantalus in the Greek myth, the more we swallow, the more we crave.
Is there another, more reliable criterion? I remember a church song: Trust and obey/for there's no other way/to be happy in Jesus/but to trust and obey. Is there truth in this old hymn? By looking away from my desires and focusing instead on a higher Goodon what is right, honorable, and best for someone elsemight I discover the key to a meaningful life?
Jesus said, whoever wants to save his own life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. This may sound like Columbus blather about sailing west to go east. If your world is flat and the horizon of your wants is the boundary for your confidence, Columbus voyage looks like a lousy bet. But if the world is round; if there really is something out there beyond our vision, maybe heading west to go east makes more sense than we thought.
One things for sure: I will spend the rest of my life making choices. Thats a given. And the most fundamental choice of all is deciding how to decide.
| C O L
U M N S
Making Life Work
The Caring Touch
Motivation for the Marketplace
| D E P
A R T M E N T S
| C O M
M U N I T Y
Heart to Heart Chat
Heart to Heart Forum
Heartlight by Email
| S U P
P O R T
HEARTLIGHT(sm) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Article copyright © Thom Lemmons. Used by permission.
Design copyright © 1996, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
May be reprinted and reused for non-commercial purposes only if copyright credits are appropriately displayed.
HEARTLIGHT and the flared heart design are service marks of Heartlight, Inc.