Ah! So Many Choices!

D L Henderson
7 min readMay 30, 2024

Ah! So Many Choices!

May 30, 2024

Good morning. My name is David. I am 74 years old. My pancreas failed over 40 years ago, because I misused a chemical while cleaning food packaging machines, and this eventually made me a Type One Diabetic. My fault. Also, failing to control my blood sugar levels, I lost sight in one eye completely. My fault. My binge alcoholism resulted in termination of my 30 year seniority and my Union Representation. My fault, too. Somewhere up the line I had quadruple bypass surgery. I don’t know who to blame for that… I could guess… Why I never seem to have caught on to a much more disciplined and chaste behavior, I’ll never understand… My only clue is that even in childhood, I never made social connections and seemed rather oblivious to any interactive learning…

All the same, I remain a twice born believer in God, Jesus, and the Bible. Growing up, as a once born person, I did not believe. I had no faith, neither adherence to any particular doctrine or moral code. My life’s course became erratically nonsensical and my behavior was likewise erratic, too. My choices and the consequences I reaped were just the same as the cultivation of the “my choices/my fault” scenario as I have mentioned above…

So, that was basically me and my situation.

But God pulled me out of it and led me mysteriously to a sharp turn to Jesus who saved me from myself. This second life He provided for me was a radical improvement, notwithstanding my habitual harmful behaviors, and yet having many beneficial results, all of which I will not go into in this essay. I’ve talked about myself enough.

Now, there are two basic avenues of thought which have existed over the eons of time, and as I will use them, they are morally neutral. They are simply two existential views.

They are theism and atheism (which has as its relative agnosticism). It’s a free choice everyone makes — consciously, inadvertently (as an assumption), or methodically… Everyone has their reasons.

Just the same, I want to offer everyone my experienced opinion about why one is preferable to the other. It has to do with the basic intellectual challenges presented by each.

God exists, but is invisible to the naked eye.

We rely on our sight for our learning and our survival.

Those two facts seem to have built the main obstacle to believing that God and the Bible record are real. The other senses, like touch, prove to be a roadblock, too. It’s not like we can physically grab hold of Jesus’ hand to pull us up out of the stormy water.

As a half blind person, a lot of times I have to rely on others to see things for me. Often, when I set something down, I have trouble finding it again — something as simple and mundane as a dish towel.

Another challenge for everyone is that we have a hard time — often a very hard time — trusting others — even close friends or family. The Bible is an historical record (among other things) written about people’s lives and encounters with God, beginning thousands of years ago, in foreign countries we might know nothing about. and written by people we do not know personally.

Yet, everyone relies on someone else to give them facts. Not everybody is a Scientist, an Archaeologist, a Geologist, an Astronomer, a World Traveler or a Computer Technician. So, we have to pick and choose who and what to believe.

In my opinion, we choose based on the rudimentary foundation of being either theistic or atheistic.

So, yet again, who do we rely on? Who do we choose to believe? How does one justify those kinds of choices?

The Bible is actually a testimonial to benefits received, character references, a recommendation, and an appreciative thank you letter.

Again, who to believe?

Further, intellectual roadblocks arise rather quickly, slowing traffic to a crawl and even delaying our arrival to our destination. So, lack of believing can occur because of situations out of our control. Still and all, sometimes we are fully in control, but refuse to look at the map or listen to reasonable choices beforehand to choose a different route.

Choice.

Life is full term pregnant with choices.

Through my experiences of consequences, I have learned — eventually — everything is about choice.

No?

Well, even that is your choice.

Now, sometimes, people fall into such perilous situations in which the danger is so terrifying that they call out to God — no matter whether they are theist or atheist. When push comes to shove, everyone is a Believer. At least they mightily hope God is there to rescue them.

From the World Wars came the term “Foxhole Religion.”

It usually doesn’t last.

“But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.” — Mark 4:17, New Living Translation (NLT).

That is saying that our choices are sometimes a matter of convenience for an immediate situation, and when the situation evaporates, we choose to go back to our regular course of our believing.

In my opinion, the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4, describes perfectly the various kinds of thinking people choose to embrace:

“Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed…”

It would be very enlightening for you to continue reading this Parable, especially verses 14–20 as well.

Now, where do you fit into Jesus’ illustrations? Are you a seeker of what’s right? How do you receive the words recorded in the Bible? Beyond that, how do you receive anything about anything?

I have found that such choices have significant consequences. Those results are why we should use our senses and sensibilities with great endurance and persistence.

Ever hear this joke? “When God said ‘brains,’ he thought He said ‘trains,’ and he’s still waiting at the station…” or “He’s so spiritually minded, he’s no earthly good.”

Unfortunately, we are often influenced by the crowd and decide only for the sake of conformity, choosing to belong to this or that clique for social acceptance, not considering consequences at all.

“Just go with the flow,” some people advise. But someone pointed out that only dead fish go with the flow. It’s kind of intellectually lazy.

Anyways, time to conclude with a bit of scientific challenges…

Creation. Theistic origins or atheistic?

Did nothing produce something?

Does the study of DNA prove evolution, or does it reveal the commonality of all living things?

Has Outer Space (the Universe) always existed, or has the living God always existed?

Do we exist in continual chaos, or is there God who has an actual plan?

Why is there color and beauty, as it were, “perceived in the eyes of the beholder?”

Well, no matter, I guess.

Nevertheless, please keep this in mind:

“Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek him.” — Hebrews 11:6.

On the other hand, if you decide to go your own way, there is this to consider:

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” — Proverbs 14:12.

God changed my life radically for the better.

You can choose to believe me or decide to believe that I am some kind of fool. I can readily admit I have made foolish mistakes,but I now am learning.

In my life, I have been convinced, in every way, that God does exist and will intervene in people’s lives for their good, if they so choose.

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still Unbelievers — both theists and atheists:

“…And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…” — Romans 3:22–24.

Please. Choose wisely.

--

--

D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between