Gratitude Day 609

Luke 2:42 – When Jesus turned twelve, his parents took him to Jerusalem to observe the Passover, as was their custom.

The average person makes something like 35,000 choices in a day.

That’s right. If you take out 7 hours for sleep a day, this means you make about 2,000 choices AN HOUR. If we average 35,000 decisions a day, this means we make something like 12,775,000 choices in a year.

Whew. I think I’m tired just thinking about this.

Most choices, we probably do not think a lot about. We just do it. But of course, there is more than just “doing it.” Then there are the decisions that we put more time and thought into. Of course, there are also the life-changing decisions we make. Sometimes, we feel like we’re responding to a life-changing situation that we didn’t get to choose as well.

Personally, I think the decisions relating to how and when and why to respond to people are the most difficult decisions. It’s because my decision affects another person. We are never quite sure how someone will respond to something that you say or do. You can’t control them. Yet, their response may or may not affect you. This is another choice that you make.

A simple but real example. I have some furniture that I decided to sell online. After I posted it, someone responded that they were interested in some of it. Later, the person said they might be interested in more pieces if no one else was interested. Was it sold or not? I wasn’t quite sure. When I didn’t receive back a clarifying answer, I assumed it wasn’t. The person assumed it was. I went ahead and sold some of the pieces. When I asked about picking up the rest, the person said they wanted all or nothing. My choice was now how to respond to this person. Who do I disappoint? This person or the person on their way to pick up some pieces? It’s just one little example how one decision (and lack of clear communication) turns into something more. It’s also one of those silly situations where people pleasers put a lot of effort in deciding what the right thing to do is.  

I am also a fan of saying that doing nothing IS doing something. It’s still a choice, even if it is choice to do nothing. Sometimes, it’s difficult for conflict avoiders to see that their choice to do nothing is still a choice.

This week is Holy Week. Our Jewish friends are celebrating their Passover feast. It’s not an accident these two events happen the same week. Jesus and his friends were celebrating the Passover meal during the night that Christians call Maundy Thursday. It’s the last time Jesus will have a meal with his disciples. We look back at this meal and see Jesus reinterpreting the symbolism of this meal for Christians.

This wasn’t the first time Jesus was in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover meal. In fact, we’re told early in Luke’s gospel that Jesus went with his family to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover meal. The rest of this story? When it came time for Jesus and his parents to go home, Jesus made the choice to stay behind. It was a couple days before Joseph and Mary realized that Jesus wasn’t in the large caravan they were with. I can imagine frantic parents in Jerusalem trying to find their son. When they finally find him, he is very casual about the whole deal. “Why wouldn’t I be in my Father’s house?” he tells his earthly parents.

Fast forward about 20 years. It’s Passover week and Jesus will make another whole series of decisions that will affect every human being. This time, Jesus is very much aware that his choices will affect his relationships with other people. He knows that the decisions he makes during Holy Week will not be popular with most people. Yet, he goes ahead and makes those decisions; decisions that we’re still talking about almost 2,000 years later.

Where those decisions easy for Jesus to make? I don’t think so. We see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane pouring out his heart to God in prayer, asking that the cup be removed if it is God’s will. But whatever God chooses to happen, Jesus will agree with.

I can’t even imagine making the types of decisions and choices Jesus made in the last days of his earthly life. My little furniture debacle? Totally insignificant compared to Jesus.

Think of a time when you had to make a super important decision. One that would affect more than just yourself. How difficult was it to make this decision? Was the choice going to affect other people? How comfortable were you with the decision you made after it was completed?

Have you made a decision that you wish you could go back and undo?

I know I have those regretful decisions that I’ve made.

One decision I don’t regret? Trying to understand a little more about who Jesus was and why he came to earth. Yes, there are so many parts of his story and decisions that I don’t understand. And won’t ever really get.

While at times I have felt overwhelmed with decisions in my life, I am also aware that my decisions pale in comparison to the decisions Jesus made the last week of his earthly life. This says to me that someone will be there when I have a big decision to make. Someone who has made bigger decisions than I have. Yes, waiting for clarity has at times driven me crazy. But being able to know someone else is with me brings comfort to me.

Today, you’ll make a whole bunch of decisions. Little ones. Big ones. And a whole bunch of in-between ones. My prayer is that we choose to honor and remember Holy Week as a special part of our faith journey.  We don’t have to understand it all. I certainly don’t. Maybe it’s just making the decision to hearing the stories openly and see what they say to us.

For Jesus’ ability to make the hard decisions, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Dear God – When I am overwhelmed with decisions to make, I pray that I will see You as one who has made super big decisions that affected so many people. Help me turn to you when I feel unsure about a decision. Thank you for being there for me. Amen.

Stop by diannedeatonvielhuber on Instagram today for a few more thoughts about today’s Lenten topic.

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