This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20a NIV
I like to think of myself as an efficient person. When given a task, I try to complete it promptly. When carrying out daily responsibilities, I often look to do so in the fewest steps possible. I'd much rather walk to my car one time with both hands full and papers pressed under my chin than make multiple trips. Why waste extra time or energy when I'm already running low on both?!
As much as it pains me to admit this, there are times when my choice of "efficiency" backfires. In route to the car, my computer bag slides off my shoulder, jolts my arm, and spills my coffee all over the papers that fell from my chin. You get the picture, and it isn't pretty. Choosing to carry more than one can reasonably handle brings the risk of a mess... and wasted time cleaning it up. The mess might not come every time, but sooner or later consequences will catch up with poor choices.
In the closing chapters of the book of Deuteronomy, we hear the final words of wisdom from Moses to the Israelite people. Blessings are promised for obedience to God's commands; curses are prescribed for those who disregard God's commands. Moses implores the Israelites to make wise choices: choose life, so they and their offspring may live. Sometimes, I think the word "curses" carries unhelpful preconceived notions. We think of images like a divine lightning bolt striking down those who disobey. More often, though, I sense curses represent the eventual and sure consequences of the choice to act outside of God's will. When a choice is made to turn from God and God's ways, it will eventually bring consequences.
Which brings us to today. Each and every day we have opportunities to follow God, embracing His good and just ways. We also have the opportunity to disregard God's ways, following our own, more "efficient" path. May the Holy Spirit guide us to choose life!
Prayer: Holy God, thank you for the gift of abundant life received through your Son, Jesus Christ. As I navigate this day, guide me to make choices that reflect your will and ways. Amen.