We are faced with constant choices, some big and some small. Everyday there is a barrage of possibilities. What to say, what to eat, where to go, how to sit, who to be. How can we decide?
In the compelling story of Cain and Abel, both brothers offer a gift to God. God accepts Abel’s offering and rejects Cain’s. God comes upon Cain in his distress and asks him, “Why are you so distressed, and why is your face fallen? Surely, if you do right, there is uplift. But if you do not do right sin couches at the door, its urge is toward you, yet you can be its master.” As we stand in the doorway, choosing which way to go, the wrong choice is a ravenous beast, lying in wait, ready to pounce. We are constantly pulled in different and at times opposing directions. And our greatness lies in our choice.
In his novel “East of Eden,” John Steinbeck weaves an epic story of generations of brothers and the beauty and burden of choice. It’s always been one of my favorite novels. Steinbeck said of the human battle of choosing between right and wrong: “I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one… Humans are caught – in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too – in a net of good and evil… There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well – or ill?”
Our choices matter. What choices will you make today?