Pause for Thought June 2017

A sales representative, an administration clerk and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out and says, “I will give each of you just one wish.”
“Me first! Me first!” says the administration clerk. “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.”
Puff! He’s gone.
“Me next! Me next!” says the sales representative. “I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.”
Puff! He’s gone.
“OK, you are up,” the Genie says to the manager.
The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”

Some decisions are better than others.

This is a season of decisions. We have a general election this month when we decide who to vote for. The wedding season begins and couples make a lifelong decision about who to spend their life with. Then there are baptisms where parents make decisions to bring their child up within the life and regular worship of the church. And then there’s where to go on holiday…

Some decisions are easy, or trivial, or temporary. Others are more difficult, or very serious, or life-changing.

When Jesus chose just twelve followers from the many who had gathered around him, he spent a night in prayer (Luke 6:12-14) before he made his decision.

How do you make big decisions? Do you ask advice from friends? Do you consult Google? Do you pray? Which principles guide you?

What about the general election? Are we to be guided by the question “What’s in it for me?” or by something more philanthropic? Is the economy the only criteria to consider? In the Bible God speaks through the prophet Isaiah saying to the people of Israel “learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow”.

In the New Testament, Paul says in his letter to the Philippians, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus”. I pray that my decision about voting in the general election will be guided more by such instructions from the Bible than by selfish thoughts of “What’s in it for me”?

Rev Dave Maylor.