God does not lose focus because God is attending the needs or prayers or praises of another of God's children. God does not for a moment leave us outside God's power and protection; even when we wander off, God stands focused and alert to our needs. God does not require us to remain vigilant, but only to trust in and affirm our relationship with God, even when we have to add, "God! Help my unbelief"* .
So how do so many people get off track in the work of making good choices? Is it crazy to volunteer to spend two years in the Peace Corp or is it courageous? Is it crazy to keep in contact with a loved one fighting addition or is it mercy in action? Is it crazy to take a lower paying job or start a business or be the "at home parent" when the financial risks are so great? I know of no verse in the Bible that would give us an easy or quick answer to any of those questions.
But there are some things that we understand. Over the next few days I'm going to be sharing my faith, hope and experience that helped me grow more confidently in making choices.
The first is both simple and complex: God never says, "Ignore the 10 commandments in this circumstance." I think of an extraordinarily kind and honorable young naval officer who failed to consider this basic litmus test and is serving a life sentence for murder because he falsely embraced the lie that it was the only way to protect his family. Now his family is wholly without his protection but he has come to trust they are in God's.
It is easy to say, "I have never murdered anyone" even when we know we have destroyed someone's reputation, shredded someone's self-confidence, undermined someone's marriage or family relationships. So take care to consider with a bright light if one of the options you are considering can be easily removed from consideration because it is not something you can imagine the Christ who died for you to be doing.
*reflecting Mark 9:24