When God created people in his image, he did not create puppets. He gave us the wonderful gift of freewill. Throughout our lives, we are faced with choices, choices that will affect our daily lives and our eternal destiny
Everyone wants a happy life. They want enough money to live comfortably. Some people want to become very rich, and some are prepared to do anything to achieve this- we just have to look at corrupt politicians and see how the citizens of their countries live in abject poverty while they wallow in their ill-gotten gains.
In order to achieve the kind of life one desires, one has to think carefully about a choice of career. My great love was ballet, and I was doing very well until my mother felt my sister and I had had enough, and stopped our classes. When I was 14, I persuaded my mother to let me start ballet again. Just before my first class with a well-known teacher, I started doing bar exercises holding on to my bedroom cupboard. Next thing I was screaming on the floor with a damaged knee. I would never be able to dance again. You see, God had a plan for me - and it wasn’t ballet. I turned my attention to my second love, the piano. I was doing very well on the eisteddford circuit and saw myself as a concert pianist… But in my final year at school, a young theological student came to preach. He went to the wrong vestry and when I arrived to put the books out for the choir, he was sitting in a corner reading. I was most embarrassed. However, after the service I said to my mother, I am going to marry him! So, I became a minister’s wife, played organs and trained choirs. I also taught piano because we were poor in our two pastorates.
As the old saying says, we are known by the company we keep! After leaving school, there is the possibility of trying all kinds of things and meeting different people. Not everyone has the blessing of a Christian upbringing, but everyone has a God-given moral sense and should stay away from things they feel are dubious and people they know are no good. It is our own choice and we reap the results of it. I had my school friends, 2 Jewish girls, one of whom I last saw at my wedding wearing a stunning brilliant red dress and large matching hat! I lost touch with her until she left a comment on my website many years later. She had led a very wealthy but tragic life and we corresponded for many years until she lost her final battle to cancer. She knew the Christian way, I think she was a secret disciple, and I look forward to meeting her again one day. Then I had my church friends, most of whom I saw for the last time at my wedding. But throughout my life my best friends have always been my family, and I thank the Lord for them all. I have been truly blessed in my friendships. I leave the final word on a choice of friends to the great leader, Joshua, who led the Israelites into the Promised Land.
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14,15 NIV).
Marriage is a supremely important choice in our lives. The best place to find a spouse is in the church. Marriage is God-ordained. Do not think if you are considering the man of your dreams he will become a Christian. Unfortunately, this does not happen very often and causes problems in the marriage and with the children. Christians should remember that God has given us the gift of sound minds - and use them!
Circling back to the beginning, I think of my life now I am 84. Much of it has been spent helping John in his pastorates, academia and, finally, business. But I have also had what I consider as my career and am amazed at the way God has led me. I started writing poetry after our 4th baby was stillborn, and later was given the gift of composing Christian music. This has brought me unimaginable joy and satisfaction – much more than I could ever have attained if my earlier dreams had come true!