Pastors' Weekly Message: From Pastor Pat

Long ago Burger King developed an ad campaign, “Have it your way.” As the customer, staff would have to make that burger the way you desired, and not in some rote culinary design. In a broad understanding this campaign suggests the customer is always right. Pretty good as a marketing strategy, but not so much as a guiding principle. 

In a season where much of our ability to choose has been removed from us, it is somewhat understandable that as restrictions are relaxed and more freedom to move is about is experienced, that our response might be to insist on it being our way. We feel we should be free to choose how we want to do it, without having to yield to parameters, or prerequisites, or even the preferences of others.

God has given the gift of free will, allowing us to choose. That does not imply or infer that we have the ability to insist that our choices prevail. 

The spiritual implication of free will is that we will create space to hear the voice of God and then choose whether or not to heed. Let’s be real: sometimes the voice of God can be challenging, requiring us to relinquish our right to be right, or surrendering our desire to have it our way.

In those moments when we wrestle between what we want and what God desires we may base our choice on what we’re unwilling to lose, rather than what might be gained.

What are we afraid to surrender to God? Where are we fearful of yielding to God? How is it that we are resisting God and holding fast to “our way"?

Free will is not free. It comes with spiritual accountability, the willingness to accept the consequences of our choices. May we choose wisely. May we choose God.

-- Pastor Pat 
pallen@stpaulsk.org