Every day we make choices. In fact, according to the folks putting on next month's Leadercastevent that will be simulcasted over at Cross Church, on an average day we make 8,746 choices. Some are major, most are minor, but all require some thought.
This leads me to the events over the last couple of weeks regarding the football program at the University of Arkansas. Bobby Petrino made some choices that led to Jeff Long having to make a choice. From the moment Mr. Long put Coach Petrino on administrative leave, the overall sentiment from fans and media pundits around the state and the country was that Long would choose to keep Petrino. Fans, because they wanted to keep winning and Bobby Petrino is a great football coach. Pundits, because college football has become all about money and getting rid of Petrino puts the program at great financial risk.
But Jeff Long made the choice to fire Bobby Petrino. Jeff Long made a choice grounded in integrity and honor. Jeff Long said, "No one individual is above the program." In making the choice, he put honesty and character ahead of wins and losses. He put morals ahead of money, doing the right thing ahead of doing the popular thing. For that, as a supporter of the Razorbacks, I am grateful (and, as it turns out, are most of the fans and media experts; maybe right can be popular after all!).
There was a moment in the life of Jesus where a man came to him with a dilemma. This young man was unsure of how to live a life fully for God. He asked Jesus about it, and Jesus told him to keep the commandments. When the man heard this, he said, "I've done this. What else?" Jesus sensed that he's going through the motions, checking the things off he's supposed to do like it's a shopping list, so he got to the heart of discipleship. "There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” This young man was very wealthy, and so Jesus was asking him to make a choice. What's going to be most important in this man's life, faith or wealth? The Bible tells us his face fell, and he walked away.
The choice. It's different for each one of us. It's not necessarily about all of us giving away all our money; it's about finding out what it is that we hold more value to in life than our walk with God. What is it that is keeping us from following Christ every moment of every day, wherever he leads us? It's not an easy answer, and it will lead to a difficult choice. Will we walk away, or will we stand up and be counted among those willing to live for Christ?