“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

Choices – we all make them, for good or not. When I was in high school my friends would complain to me: “I got in trouble with Mom. She scolded me, ‘Why aren’t you like the Beck boys?’” I never had an answer for them; I was just one of the good guys.

It was just my heritage: Dad was one of the good guys. Dad was one of the “Greatest Generation.” He served in the U.S. Army in WWII in the South Pacific. Before the war he had been a Boy Scout and then a Scout leader.

After the war he joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars and became the Newport Post’s Scouting Coordinator, serving as Cubmaster, Commissioner, and Trainer for over 30 years. My mom expected my brothers and I to follow Dad as one of the good guys – for me it was easy. Dad was one of my heroes and I never wanted to do anything that would disappoint him.

From the beginning in the Bible, God has given human-kind our choices. We could choose what path to follow, whether to defy God or obey. Adam and Eve chose to eat the forbidden fruit. Cain killed his brother Abel. When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus replied “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22: 37-38)

I have not always made the right choices. We all have these decisions to make, how we make them is up to us. We can choose to grumble and complain, or we can choose to try to make things better. We can choose to look for the good and be optimistic. We can greet each person we meet with a smile. We can accept the way another person dresses, their disabilities, or the color of their skin. We can accept their choices.  

I pray that you would each consider which choice to make after considering the positive and peaceful outcomes. “As for me and my house …”

Bob Beck is district commander of Creswell VFW Post 4039 and a lay leader at his church.