This morning, during Lauds, I was drawn back to a time early in our marriage. Before the boys were in school, I had a daycare with my sister-in-law, Terry. I had always thought that I wanted to be with them in their early years, so that it would be my influence, not someone else’s during their formative years. I know this not possible for everyone, but I felt very blessed to be able to do so.
After they started school, I decided I wanted to find some other kind of work. I had to gone to business school to be a paralegal and bookkeeper, and so I began applying for jobs. One job that I applied to had nothing to do with my above training, save that I was good at organization. It was for a personal assistant. This job sounds like a dream. The money was excellent, even though the hours were long. It would involve some travel and chances to see places I might not have been able to afford otherwise. It would have been a big increase to our tight budget. It was very exciting, and I almost got swept away in the promise of it all.
But…the one thing I couldn’t wrap my head around was the time I would have spent away from Jim and the boys. No amount of money, in my mind could justify being away from them. And so, I turned it down. The jobs that followed were far less glamorous. I worked cleaning houses and apartments, as an embroiderer, and at a golf pro shop. But I was there every morning when they left for school, every afternoon when they came home, took them to every doctor’s appointment, attended all their school functions, etc.
And why, pray tell, was I thinking about this during morning prayers? Because of Lot. Lot was Abram’s (later Abraham) nephew. Most people know about Lot and his wife because of Sodom and Gomorrah. But how did Lot get there and why did this send me back in time this morning.
In Genesis 13, Abram and Lot were traveling together. Verse 2 says, Now Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. Verse 5 tells us that Lot was also rich in flocks and herds and tents. So, what was the problem?
The land. Abram and Lot had so many flocks that the land could not support them. There were quarrels between their herders and so Abram made Lot a very generous offer. Let there be no strife between you and me, or between your herders and my herders, for we are kindred. Is not the whole land available? Please separate from me. If you prefer the left, I will go to the right; if you prefer the right, I will go to the left.
Here’s where the choice came in. For Lot, it was one based on looks; he took the pretty girl, so to speak. He saw a land abundantly watered…the Jordan Plain. He saw what to him seemed like the better land and took it for himself. He didn’t discuss it with Abram or try to divide what seemed the choicest of portions between them. No…he saw the golden ring and he snatched it up.
I knew this part of the story. This was not a great revelation for me. But my focus has always been on Lot and his motivation…not Abram’s Why did Abram let Lot pick first? It goes back to his relationship with God.
Abram’s trust in God released him from the anxiety of looking out for himself. No matter how Abram and Lot prospered in the future, the fact that Abram let Lot make the choice displayed his generosity and established trust between him and Lot. It was a great example of how Abram’s trust was in the Lord and not in earthly possessions.
And so, I found myself wondering how different our lives would have been if I had taken that job. I didn’t do so, like Abram, out of a great trust in God. But like Abram, putting family above worldly wealth, was the right decision. I’m so grateful to God’s guiding hand, ever gentle, nudging me in the right direction. Abram’s generosity was rewarded by God. In the verses that followed, God told Abram to look around him and bestowed on Abram all the land around him, for him and his descendants. While Lot lifted his eyes in greed, Abram waited for God to lift his eyes and show his will.
As for me, God has blessed me with a strong marriage. The temptations of “Sodom and Gomorrah” that could have come with the other job were avoided. The temptation of more money and more possessions was alluring; but my family was more so. There were things we did without: vacations, traveling ball teams, the latest and greatest technology, etc. There were still trials and temptations. But we were there, together, to tackle them. I think if you ask my boys, and I know if you ask Jim, the better choice was made.
When peace like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul
3 thoughts on “the better choice…”
I sometimes wish it was possible to realize God is guiding you in the midst of things, but then I realize how important it is to look back and remember. It makes it easier to rest in God’s care when I am struggling. I know that if I just hold on, He will work things out for the best. Thanks for the reminder!
My husband and I both made choices over the years that we knew were not necessarily seeking the most in dollars but were intended to put our family first. So thankful for God’s guidance and blessings especially through the tough times.