Do you have a willing heart? Are you open to hearing God speak to you? To hearing God’s voice? Do you ask God for direction? Do you take His advice when you hear it? There is no shame if your answer is “no” to all of these questions. Thankfully, God gave us free will. What an incredible gift that is! We can make our own choices – we can choose our own path!
This morning, the concept of free will took on a whole new meaning for me. I have just returned from dropping off my daughter at the airport as she is headed to her 3-day summer college orientation program. My wife and I have been spent the last 18 years preparing her for this moment – the moment when she has complete free will. She can and will make all her own choices when she goes off to college in the fall. She will be making decisions that will impact her whole life – what she studies, who she befriends, what she drinks and eats, and how much she sleeps, etc.
Now I think I know how God feels! He started us out with a lot of rules and He disciplined us when we got out of line (see the Old Testament). As we grew, He sent us the very best teacher and then a spiritual advisor (see the New Testament). As the world got more complicated, He clarified his greatest command: Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. He knows what is best for us but he also knows that we can’t truly love him unless we are given the choice to love him.
When I was younger, I sometimes exercised my free will without concern for others. For that, I have apologized a lot. As I have grown older, I am learning to ask God for help in making everyday choices and then to open my heart to hearing his response. I pray that you (and my college-bound daughter) have a willing heart that will do the same. – Bill Ernstrom, Director of Operations