Tuesday, September 11, 2018
This day I call heaven and 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. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:19
The stark black-on-white imperative CHOOSE LIFE t-shirt was made famous by Wham in their 1984 hit music video, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” The phrase has since become one of the most politically-charged phrases of all time being associated with controversial causes like: anti-nuclear campaigns, suicide prevention, anti-drug addiction, AIDS benefits, Gay/Lesbian rights, and pro-life/anti-abortion causes.
“Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a starter home. Choose dental insurance, leisure wear, and matching luggage. Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that?” This is the tag line from the 1996 film “Trainspotting” about a young man deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene who tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends. The point? Life is about significant choices and the long term impact of these choices.
Through the cultural noise in contemporary society, the iconic phrase is much older and significant than its late 20th Century usage. While poised on the edge of the promised land for the second time, Moses' last words to the people were to “choose life.” The nation of Israel had traveled a rocky road. They had repeatedly made bad choices and complained about the journey on which God had led them. Frequently their commitment had waivered and even vanished as they weighed in on their current circumstance. Every moment of every day, the Holy Spirit sets before us life and death, blessings and curses. He commands us to make a choice to either take the road less traveled and follow Him or take the tempting path that ultimately leads to destruction.