by Cliff Pace, Senior Pastor
When I was 12, first-person video games didn’t exist, at least not in today’s advanced form. But there were first-person books that allowed you to make choices throughout the story. Each choice had its own set of consequences, good or bad.
Sometimes your choices would result in you becoming the hero of the story, or the one who solved the mystery. However, a series of bad choices could lead you to a dead end, and the story would end. (If that occurred, you would simply go back to page 16 where you made the bad decision and start over until you got it right).
Although those books taught me nothing about God (the Bible does that), they are a sentimental part of my childhood, and through them I learned several practical truths about life.
Here are three ways you can be sure to make Christmas (and the rest of your life) meaningful:
1.) Realize that life is an adventure.
You never know what is going to happen next, and there are many times when you don’t control what happens next in your life. The authors of "choose-your-own-adventure books" knew what would happen in their books, and the God who made you knows what will happen in your life. So when "life happens" remember: every twist, every turn, and every choice is an opportunity for Him to be glorified through you.
2.) Your decisions will affect your future and your eternity: make wise choices!
When you make a bad choice and find yourself in the proverbial quicksand with no branch to reach for, it's not as easy as turning back to page 16 when you could have stayed with the rest of the team on the path to the cabin!
There is forgiveness for unwise decisions but there are no do-overs.
Making a wise decision means making a decision that is filled with God’s wisdom. When you make a wise decision, you receive the benefit and God receives the glory.
3.) Decide to make the most of every moment, especially this moment.
Jesus works in moments just like this--the ones that seem insignificant, when nothing big is on the line (or so you think).
Every moment is a big moment is your life. The quiet moments when no one else is around, the crucial moments when no one else is looking, the public moments when everyone is looking--all help to define your life and your future.
So what does that have to do with Christmas? Christmas 2015 is a moment in time, and if you are living for the first hour of Christmas morning you will be greatly disappointed at 10:05am.
If your day will be defined by the thoughtlessness of others or the thanklessness of your heart, It's time to go back to page 16, or better yet Ephesians 5:16 and the following verses. There the Apostle Paul says "to make the most of our time because the days are evil” and then he explains how to redeem the time or this moment.
So don’t let this moment define you! Let this moment, Christmas 2015, and the rest of your life be defined by the transforming power of Christ in your life, and you will finish the story, your story, with no regrets.