Where the River Bends

Posted: October 9, 2014 in World On The Edge

river bendI’ve come to see life as like a river–its waters can be calm and serene, but also raging and terrifying–especially where the river bends. And at its bend, there are decisions to be made–decisions with consequences. Which way do we go?

Don’t we want our choice to be a good one?

Decision making is something we do constantly as we are faced with various courses of action in our lives. Some of our decisions are relatively minor ones, but some are major. These are decisions that require thought: What are the pros and cons? We must use reason and logic to choose correctly.

BUT Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber published a paper in 2011 that concluded many of us use our reason and logic, not to get to the truth or to make good decisions, but primarily to strengthen our position and persuade other people that we are right. In other words we selectively choose data that supports our decision. And we do this selfishly, sometimes without realizing it. When we decide selfishly, our choice rarely makes us happy, and can truly hurt others. In these situations, can we turn instead to the unselfish spirit within us for direction?

We have to pay attention to what the true good is. When we make decisions we should consider their affect on others, too. Because after the long road of life, our eternity depends upon it.

Creation itself began with God calling life out of the water. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:2

The water of a river is symbolic of our relationship with God, carrying the image of renewal, promise and hope. It is through water that we are baptized into the community of the church, and of course Jesus Himself was baptized with water in the River Jordan. It was the day he began his ministry, his loving, sacrificial choice to redeem us. On the other hand, do we remember that it is our bad choices and decisions–yours and mine–that makes our redemption necessary?

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