Jesus says, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10).
In Deuteronomy 30, God addresses the whole company of Israel through Moses and says, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessing and curses. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”
We experience daily choices of “life” and “death” that we can be attentive to and receive guidance from God.
They could be that slight tension headache we get as we interact with a particular person or the aspect of our job that is draining, or the life-giving energy we feel in the presence of art and beauty. They may also include the sensation of being “in the flow” when we are engaged in a particular activity, the feeling of peace we notice as we walk into a particular building or space.
God’s will for us is generally to do more of that which gives us life (Deuteronomy 30:11-20) and to turn away from those things that drain life from us.
Furthermore, God points out that the wisdom that enables us to choose life is not something we will find outside of ourselves – in heaven or across the ocean, but this knowing is very near to us; it is in our mouths and in our hearts for us to notice and to observe (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
Many of our smaller decisions and most of our significant decisions – even decisions that require you to choose between two equally good options – involve the ability to notice what brings a sense of life, freedom in the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17), and the peace that exceeds anything we can understand (Philippians 4:7).
These inner dynamics need not be attached to anything that is particularly momentous; in fact, they might seem relatively inconsequential until we learn to pay attention and trust what they have to tell us.
The opportunity to choose life is ours – in the day-to-day choices we face as well as in the larger decisions of our lives.
When we make it our habit to notice and respond to that which is life-giving, we are in touch with what is truest about God, ourselves and our world.