"If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live...Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him" (SIR 15:15-17).
Life is about choices. Every waking moment, whether or not we are aware of it, we have the ability to choose. An obvious statement? Perhaps. After all, we make decisions daily, don’t we? What to eat, how to dress, who to talk to. We make a lot of major decisions as well. What subject to study, what job to take, what career path to follow. But how many of us are aware of our deepest decisions, those that often operate below the surface level of our material world?
Take a moment to look beyond this surface level—past the day-to-day choices of cereal or eggs, the in-the-moment indecision of study or rest, the “this too shall pass” turmoil of job or grad school. Look beyond. How many other multitudes of choices do you still have before you? The choice of whether to love or to hate, to forgive or to fight, to bring joy or to bring sorrow. Every waking moment is a chance to choose to be the person God calls you to be. Every day is an ocean of opportunities to follow Him.
Sometimes, we do lose our way. We’re human; it happens. We don’t always make the right choices. Occasionally, we may even make choices that lead us to feel like we’ve lost a part of ourselves in those choices. But even those decisions are a part of life. They are all crucial pieces of our journey and our story.
This week’s readings are particularly poignant to me as I reflect on my time at Neumann. I had the honor of writing a reflection the fifth week of my freshman year. As I write this reflection, in my fifth week of my final semester of senior year, I stand in awe. Awe of the experiences I’ve had and the opportunities I’ve enjoyed but increasingly in awe of the infinite possibilities that lay before me in life. Infinite choices.
In the Gospel, we hear Jesus teaching His disciples the commandments to be followed. He opens by making it clear He has not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. In a similar way, as we grow and change in our life journey, we do not dispose of our past experiences but add to them, deepening and enriching who we are. The second reading speaks to us of wisdom. Not of the “world’s wisdom” but of God’s wisdom, revealed to us through the Spirit. The knowledge that will guide us to make the right choices and nourish our souls is right there in front of us. It is up to us whether to listen.
“Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him.” Life is about choices. What will you choose?