At times life can seem like nothing but a string of decisions that bring us from one moment to the next. Before going to sleep you decide when you want to wake and you set your alarm. You decide when to have lunch and where to have lunch. You can drive or you can walk. The day is passed deciding between this and that. Even the most minute actions require a decision. I had to make decision to pause before writing this sentence and take a sip of my tea (something I am never aware of until I pause to acknowledge it.) Then you decide to go to sleep and the day ends… only to begin again. Sleep is simply like pushing the pause button on the decision making process. Below I offer up to you, dear reader, a few passages that relate to this train of thought that I’d like for you to read before I continue… 

Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:1-10).”

Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?’ So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ And he answered and said to Him, ‘Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.’ Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.’ But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:17-22).

“Do I dare
Disturb the universe?  
In a minute there is time  
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”

From “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot

The first two passages from the Bible tell us the stories of two men who had lived their lives in distinctly different manners. Zacchaeus is a corrupt tax collector who has been using his position to enrich himself unfairly at the expense of others, while the rich youth has lived is entire life following the word of God and following the commandments. The one thing they had in common was their wealth. Yet one comes across Jesus Christ and decides to give up his worldly possessions and give to the poor and restore those he has wronged in order to follow Christ, and the other meets Christ and presents Him with all his righteousness but when faced with giving up his possessions, he cannot.

Both had made decisions for their entire lives that brought them to this point, the sinner and the righteous man, and in one instant, with one decision, they effectively switched places. This is where Eliot’s words ring so true. There is space in one minute, in one moment for life altering decisions to be made. There is also space for them to be revised, taken back, rewritten, reworded. And the beauty of the decision making moment is that one is never more clear, more sure, more steadfast than in the moment when the declaration is made. The moments before and after could be full of questions and doubt, but the decision making moment is made of solid gold.

For example, you may spend 30 minutes trying to decide what to eat for lunch, but the moment you decide you want the pizza and order that pizza, you are probably more certain of wanting that pizza than you are of anything else in the world at that moment.

So was the case of Zacchaeus and the rich young man. In their decision making moments, they were both so firm in their minds and hearts that Christ declared that salvation came to the house of the former and the latter left with great sorrow in his heart because he cared for his possessions too much to give them up to leave them behind and follow Him.

And so is the case with us. We hear a sermon, or read a passage in the Bible, or have a discussion and we feel renewed and we declare that from this moment on, our lives will be dedicated to our Lord and to His righteousness. Then moments pass by and there are revisions and more decisions and we forget… but that does not take the sincerity away from the moment when we were moved to reach out to Him. It just makes me think that perhaps one of the things that will help us on our way up to the summit is to make every moment the deciding moment. If during every second of every day you are continuously deciding to follow our Lord and His righteousness then every moment will be made of the solid faith and conviction. Every moment will bring you closer to God and His everlasting love and joy.