Make Good Choices
by Jenni Key
January 8, 2020
Every Monday morning my husband Jim and I (AKA Papa and Nanna), receive a special package delivered to a local Starbucks. We effect the transfer of goods in the parking lot, and our grandson Ansel begins a day filled with breakfast at Polly’s, a visit to the train station, work in the garden or workshop, fun with Legos and PlayDoh, and a long nap with Papa—all the things that make for sweet memories shared by grandparents and a just-turned-three year old.
But as our daughter Emily takes off for work, she has several last minute thoughts to share with Ansel: “I love you! Have a good day with Nanna and Papa. Remember to listen. Make good choices . . .”
“Make good choices.”
Ansel doesn’t often have to be reminded to make good choices. But on rare occasions, we might play that card: “Remember, Mommy said to make good choices—” meaning, let’s not bounce the ball against the TV, or let’s pick up all 64 pieces of the puzzle before we bring out another toy, or let’s resist the urge to bite anything other than food. And when we remind him, there’s usually a pause . . . and a serious expression crosses his face as he considers what making good choices might mean in this situation. Happily, he almost always then chooses well.
I’ve been thinking about that exhortation a lot lately: “Make good choices.” Because it occurs to me that in His own way, the Holy Spirit says to me often and in myriad situations: “Make good choices.”
When I fall into the trap of thinking I’m entitled to material possessions and comfort and safety and that I need to protect that somehow, the Holy Spirit says, “Choose . . . to give, instead. Hold things loosely. Store up your treasure in heaven.”
When my feelings are hurt or I’m maligned or my reputation is on the line, the Holy Spirit says, “Choose . . . not to hold onto offense. Not to allow a root of bitterness to take hold. Choose instead to forgive quickly.”
When I’m distracted by the ugliness of the world and current culture, and despairing of the future, the Holy Spirit says, “Choose . . . to fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.”
John 14:16 says “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever . . .”
I take Jesus at His word that having the Helper, the Comforter, the Convicter with me always is the best idea ever. And after all, the Holy Spirit is the Jesus within me. So I can trust Him when He reminds me, in His quiet voice: “Beloved daughter, make good choices.”
Jenni and her husband Jim are grandparents to Siena (6), Jackson (4), Ansel (3), Avery (2). All six are learning to make good choices.