The Now or Never Moment

I usually visit my sister every week. One of the things we enjoy doing together is watching movies on a certain TV channel (we’ll call it the “HM” channel), which is known for putting out many feel-good movies, especially around holiday time. 

The movies tend to recycle the same storylines and the same plot devices, so there are usually no surprises. Half the fun of watching them is that you can predict what will happen next.

My sister and family make up clever, funny names for each predicted event…. “The HM Miscommunication”, “The HM Snowball/Food/Water Fight”, “The HM Walk Away”, etc. Someone will call out the moments as they happen and new names are made up as we go. We shake our heads at the choices the characters make, yet we find it all entertaining.

My niece made up a new one the other day that really struck a chord with me – “The HM Now or Never Moment”. This is when the main character is at a big crossroads in life and needs to make a tough decision.  She (or he) must choose to follow her old plan for her life or take a leap of faith and go in a new direction. Being the type of movies that they are, that direction usually involves a new relationship.

Most of the time, the main character makes a choice to stick with the “old plan”, but then has a change of heart at the last minute. We cheer at the happy ending because the she ends up starting a new way of life. 

Yes, these movies can be silly and most of the time implausible. They are so popular because we all love the happy ending. We love the idea of that the main character almost goes the wrong direction, but instead she chooses to take the right path in the end before it is too late. 

Most choices in our lives aren’t quite as dramatic, but I find that the little choices I make can add up and have quite an impact! Sometimes a few small choices can change the entire trajectory of my life.

For example…

Staying up later than I should can lead to me hitting the snooze button on my alarm one too many times.

This will cause me to rush through morning devotionals and not spend much time with the Lord, which then leads me to being distracted and irritable during the day.

Being distracted and irritable leads to discontentment, discord with those around me, and stress. I am often not able to complete what I need to for the day.

After a day like this, all I want to do is to tune out and watch TV or read. Which then leads to staying up later than I should and the cycle continues.

The behavior ultimately leads me to spend less and less time with the Lord, which in turn leads me to feel more and more distant from Him. This, of course, makes it so much easier to make ill-advised decisions in other areas of my life. 

It only takes one small, seemingly inconsequential, poor choice to start me on pattern of behavior that can derail me for days, weeks, or even months, if I don’t make a conscious effort to repent and turn away from it.

Unlike an “HM” movie, the above scenario doesn’t usually lead to a new job, a move to a new city, or a new relationship. But when I look at the potential consequences of that small choice, it is clear that I need to treat each decision as a “Now or Never Moment”.

I don’t want to be distant in my relationship with the Lord when something devasting happens. 

I don’t want to have difficulty hearing Him because I haven’t spent the time in consistent prayer that I should have. 

I don’t want to be unable to trust in His power and promises when I need to stand my ground against the enemy because I’m out of practice!

There are so many verses in the Bible that speak about keeping our focus on the Lord, not being distracted, and not looking to the right or the left. They are not just good suggestions or helpful guidelines. They are there to prevent us from being sidetracked in our walk with the Lord…to prevent us from making other things more important than Him.

Proverbs 4:27

Do not swerve to the right or to the left;

    turn your foot away from evil.

Luke 10:40-42

40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary.[b] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

But it’s not enough to just read these. We need to meditate on them. Pray about them. Obey them and apply them to our lives. Everyday!!

I am so thankful that the Lord is faithful to remind me to stay on course and make good choices! Just even writing this blog post has brought to mind a few other “small choices” I need to take a look at!

Friends, I encourage you to be praying about this. Ask the Lord to show you the areas in your life that you are making small choices that negatively impact your relationship with Him. Repent and ask Him to help you turn from them. 

Run your race victoriously, my friends!

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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