Joel 3:14 offers us a provocative verse: “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” To be human is first of all to be a decision maker. One of the crowning glories of man is that we are not machines. Nor are we merely creatures of instinct. Our Creator has endowed us with the ability to reason and make decisions. We are creatures with free will. We are able to make moral choices. Let me offer three categories of decisions men make:
- First there are small decisions. Even these small decisions are important. How do we know when a so-called ‘small decision’ may really be very important? A university student makes a small decision to skip a class. What difference will one class make? On the final exam there are several questions from the day he missed. He fails the exam. His grade point average drops below the standard to stay in school. He drops out of school, a profession, and a way of life! Little decisions are often cumulative. They add up. Our whole life may be determined as a result of small decisions.
- There are big decisions. Little decisions do not always add up to great ones. Sometimes a major decision, once made, can influence all the small ones. A man found a brief case containing a large sum of money. He was poor and could really use the money. Yet, he was not tempted to keep it. He had decided a long time before to be honest. He turned it in. Many people are confused and frustrated by day-to-day decisions. One major decision could have solved the small ones.
- There are ultimate decisions. I have carried the following poem by James Russell Lowell in my mind since youth:
Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide
In the strife of truth with falsehood
For the good or evil side
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah
Offering each the bloom or blight
And the choice goes by forever
Twixt that darkness and the light
We have something to decide. Shall we say yes or no to God’s will? Multitudes are pushed about, lost, and frustrated. Their lives are moving inevitably toward judgment and doom because they do not make a personal decision as to their relationship with God. Why are so many lives complicated beyond endurance? Why are so many blown about by every wind of circumstance? Why? It is because they have not made the ultimate decision to follow Christ. Small decisions and big decisions are influenced by the ultimate decision.
Make the ultimate decision to follow Jesus. It makes all the difference.
~ Brother Roy