An Unwise Choice — Dad said, “Go get a Tamarisk branch, you need a spanking.” I know I needed to be punished, the reason now escapes me. I remember my heavy steps toward the willowy Tamarisk bush, to select a suitable branch. With even slower steps I returned holding the ‘switch’ for Dad to use. When I handed it to Dad I realized that I had made the wrong choice by looking at his face. He threw it down, “I’ll get one that won’t break.”
I don’t remember the cause for punishment or the punishment itself, I simply remember that my choice of a switch was not suitable for Dad’s intended purpose. The switch was flexible, the punishment was not.
It wouldn’t be the only wrong choice I made in my life, although none of them were as black and white and quickly over. Growing up, I often deliberately disobeyed or made the wrong choices. The consequences were sometimes delayed or sometimes instantaneous. Learning obedience is difficult when we are young and often just as difficult later in life. I did notice that when I obeyed I felt a sense of peace and all’s-well-with-the-world sense.
Ironically, we expected total obedience from our children, forgetting our own history. One of the most
rewarding happenings for me is knowing my children as the adults they are now. When we went through the ‘forever’ of their childhood we longed for and dreaded the moment they left the home nest. Knowing all the choices they had to make: their education, livelihood, mate, faith, how to spend their money, where to live and so many other decisions of men and women on the edge of adulthood.
We cheer for their successes and pray for guidance in their missteps and wrong choices. The love we knew for each of them when they were born has not abated, but grown. This love only grows with every grandchild and every great-grandchild. Enriching blessing from God – each one.
Choices as individuals, families, cities, states and countries can be difficult to make, and even more difficult without wise guidance and a foundation. Each decision each one makes impacts not only the individual or group making the decision, but those who are born generations later.
When Dad moved to accept a rural mail route shortly after WWII, he encountered many flat tires. His predecessor was less than accommodating to his mail patrons, and ‘tack’ retribution left its point. I marveled at Dad’s restraint, purchasing a magnet to clean up the areas around 100 mail boxes and patching tires, tires that were difficult to find in that era. The po
tential enemies became helpful friends. Dad’s patrons used their tractors to pull him out of snow banks, and offered him water on a hot day. He made the choice that freed him from a ‘tack-filled’ relationship.
We just celebrated the 4th of July. Many years ago our forefathers made a choice that gained freedom from taxation without repr
esentation and independence for our country. The choices were made by a hand full of men long ago. Their decisions, their choices, have stood fast for more than two hundred years. Their choices made a difference and gave us the inspiration of freedom for generations.
My Mom, Anna Daisy Siemens, was born long ago in 1907, on the 4th of July. The choices she made in her life, made a difference for those she knew and her family. Why? Because she chose to follow Jesus Christ in her life. Because of her choice, Jesus was glorified through her attitudes, her actions, her writing and her life.
Today I received an email from one of her great-granddaughters, Rebekah:
Yesterday made me think of Grandma Daisy….a lot. And that got me to thinking of her influence on so many young minds; which brought me to thinking of how well her parents raised her and instilled values. And that brought me to what our founding fathers were thinking…to have a nation for people to be free…to have “One Nation Under God”. We are so very blessed with the many opportunities in our path.
So many times, I hear in my mind and my spirit, Mother’s voice. It is often scripture….May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14.
Jesus was Mom’s choice and Jesus is my choice. Each individual must make a choice, and not making a choice, is to make a choice. Choosing is a stepping stone to obedience and freedom. This is not an oxymoron – obedience is the boundary in which freedom abides. Obedience plus freedom in Christ equals the peace that passes understanding.