Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Larry Pray

Tuesday, October 28

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.
—Deuteronomy 30:19

The sun arises and we wake to a new day.

Will its choices lead to life?  How will we know?  What are the ways of life?  Such questions are key because they help us move toward the life that God blesses us with each day.

In the book Leading Causes of Life  that I wrote with Gary Gunderson,  we suggest five causes that lead us towards life.  Each one is both wonderfully simple and beautifully complex.  The language of life is full of nuance, paradox, and irony.  And none of the causes stand alone.  Instead, each needs its companions if life is to sing. 

And what are the causes that lead to life?

We begin with connection.  We know life as we connect with others.  What happens when we are disconnected?  For life to happen, we almost immediately try to connect yet again.  We learn to forgive, we reconcile, we nurture friendships, we do all we can to connect.

We then move to coherence.  We try to make sense of life.  Does it have purpose?  How do we piece it together?  What is our world of meaning.  In the end each of us can't help but seek coherence.  We are creatures of order, no matter how chaotic our lives may seem.

And then there is agency.  We are alive when we take action.  Sometimes we initiate action; and sometimes events force us to respond.  Either way, we “do something.”  So do our families, our churches, our hopes, and our imaginations.  We live in a world of change.

We move on to hope.  Life without hope is known as despair.  When we live in despair we know something is missing, that something is not right, that life has left us.  We trust that hope is just around the corner, that wise choices will lead to it, recognizing it is a gift from God. 

Finally, we move to blessing.  Nothing can change our life more than blessings that allow us to perceive ourselves and the world in a new way.  Blessings need others, because although we can give them and receive them, we cannot bless ourselves.  They are full of hope, and they lead to change.

In these ways, life speaks to us at the beginning of a new day, asking us, all day long, to choose life.

God of Life, we thank you for speaking to us and asking us to choose. May we do so in ways that are pleasing and useful in the affirmation of life. In Jesus' name, Amen.