Destinations depend on the decisions we must make.
Published on: 08-29-2021
Life is a result of all the choices you make.” That’s something my mom said while we were talking on the phone one day. She continued speaking for a few moments, then stopped. “Hey, that was pretty good advice, wasn’t it?” Of course, I agreed. It was good advice.
Right now I have to make a lot of choices. I have one more year of college. Knowing I need to figure out where I want to live and work in 365 days makes that amount of time feel a lot shorter than it is. My mom’s comment is in the back of my mind as I realize that now is the time I will make some of the most important choices of my life.
There are a lot of people in the Bible who were faced with big decisions. Learning about Bible characters helps us learn about ourselves.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible takes place within only four verses. Jesus is hanging on the cross, surrounded by soldiers and other onlookers who are there primarily just to see Him, despite the two criminals hanging by His side. One of the men on a nearby cross makes fun of Jesus for not saving Himself and them. But the other says, “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:41, NIV). Then he turns to speak with Jesus and says, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom” (verse 42, NIV).
In this story two men have a lot in common. They made some bad choices because those had caused them both to be crucified. At the end of their life they were still faced with a choice. One turned to mockery, while the other asked for mercy.
When we are faced with decisions, there are always ways we can react. Sometimes it’s easier to follow what everyone else is doing, even if it isn’t right. But making the right choice can have positive results.
Our choices always take us somewhere. I’m not sure how much the thief knew about Jesus before he dedicated his life to Him. Maybe he knew of Him from what others had said; maybe he had seen Him throughout the streets; or maybe he had attended an event at which Jesus was speaking or preaching. But it’s possible he didn’t know much about Him at all. Either way, he realized that where Jesus was, he wanted to be also. He decided that Jesus was the right choice.
The story ends as Jesus answers him, “Truly I tell you, . . . you will be with me in paradise” (verse 43, NIV). I’m sure when Jesus looked him in the eye and promised him a place in Paradise, he knew he had made the right choice.
We are always faced with choices, and many of them affect us for the rest of our lives. But when I think about the decisions I have to make, I realize that as long as I am sure of my ultimate destination, all the other things I face will be small in comparison.
“Truly I tell you, . . . you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43, NIV).