One Choice Leads to Another

Posted October 3, 2016

President's Message ::: Fall 2016

In a culture that is often captivated by the bigger and better, I want to notice the small and simple. A pebble in a shoe matters, a fruit fly in a garbage can gets noticed. I want to see the tiny mushroom growing on the big lawn, to see the person in the sea of nameless faces.  Big is often made up of a series of small. I have been thinking lately about the implications of small decisions, particularly about how one small decision leads on to the next choice, and then the next.  Robert Frost said “way leads on to way”, so that each choice creates new ones and eliminates some others.  In college I randomly chose to join some friends in a road race.  Thirty years later, I am still often running (usually behind).  A summer job started me cutting grass; I still am cutting too many lawns. Way leads to way.  

On a Labour Day Monday in 1981, I got off the combine on my parent’s farm in Red Deer, left the field, left home, and drove to Edmonton where I started as a student at Mount Carmel the next day.  It did not feel like a huge deal at the time. I was leaving home for the first time; I was leaving the farm temporarily, so I thought.  In retrospect, that simple climb down the combine ladder began a monumental shift in my life.  Way really does lead on to way. What seemed like a temporary plan led to me living in the city and only making token visits to combines.  It lead me on a path to a very different life than I had thought of up to that point. 

Small things are easily dismissed as insignificant. The prophet Zechariah reminded the people who had returned from the exile to not “despise the day of small things” (4:10). The people were struggling with disillusionment with God’s work, and were discouraged at the small things that were happening. But God works even in the small and seemingly insignificant. Zechariah reminds them that with God’s involvement small seeds become large plants. 

With God’s involvement small seeds become large plants.

Inside this calendar are the pictures of this year’s students at Mount Carmel Bible College. They have all chosen to spend a year focusing on following Jesus. While they did not all view this as a small decision, it is a decision that could make a large difference in their lives. This choice will lead to future choices and changes that no human can predict. But God will guide, the Spirit will nudge, and they will remain in good hands. One choice will lead to another. 

Could I ask you for one small thing? Would you place this prayer calendar somewhere where you will be prompted to pray for these people? Your simple choice to pray will lead to results that we can’t know or imagine. Would you choose to invite God to work in these people, in this group, and in this group of staff? I know it is a small thing that is easy to overlook, but of all the small things that matter, prayer may be the biggest.