Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
BBC Radio Scotland
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

When did you last make up your mind? How difficult was it for you to get married or to change careers?

When I was a teenager, I attended a church service where the preacher asked people to make a commitment of faith – to make up their minds - and to signal that decision by sticking a hand up in the air. I remember the preacher saying:

I see that hand…yes, and that hand too.

Life would be easier if we’d been part of a Golden Age when men and women didn’t need to agonize over decisions – when everything was so blindingly obvious that there really were no decisions to make. Even in a time of national crisis or a family emergency we imagine it would be easier. Adrenaline would take over. We’d be inclined to act rather than to deliberate.

Some of us look back at the collection of stories in our Bibles to find people who, we suppose, had it easy - who heard a voice speaking out of a burning bush or encountered the risen Christ standing on the beach welcoming them. “Bowled over”, we imagine they were, “gobsmacked” even. People like these didn’t need to weigh options like we do.

Except that’s exactly what they did in these stories – from Moses to Saint Peter. These people were presented with promises and challenges which they measured and pondered. You’d be safer to read some silences into the text. That silence is the sound of Saint Peter making up his mind. That silence is the sound of God waiting to see what Moses will decide.

God does not rob people of their right to choose – of their ability to say yes or no. The energy for faith – the energy for community building – the energy required to change your course in life. This is energy which is triggered by decision and every decision you make requires a certain amount of human agony - just enough blood, perhaps, to mark it out as “yours” and not merely the byproduct of events.

the audio is available for a limited time HERE. TFTD begins at 1:18.33 - a little more than halfway along the audio bar.

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