Untitled Document



Three Basic Decisions of life


Dallas M.Roark

About 35 years ago a 14 year old boy stood on the bank of the San Antonio River. He watched the water as it gathered speed racing toward the whirlpools. Somehow the treacherous currents fascinated him with their lurking danger. He began to study the way pieces of driftwood were drawn toward the whirlpool. They would glide faster and faster  until suddenly they would disappear into the whirling water; and then a few seconds later the pieces of wood would bob to the surface a few feet beyond the whirlpool and float freely down stream.

Hugh Roy Cullen, later to be a Texas oil man, knew that wood floated more naturally than the human body, yet a person could remain afloat in the water if he lay semi-rigid and motionless. It seemed impossible that no one could swim thru these whirlpools if a bit of driftwood came thru all right.

He watched the way the wood went under; and, then he tried an experiment.  He tossed a log, about his own weight, into the water and watched it disappear as it reached the whirling eddies over the bottom of the river. He counted the seconds before the leg came up. He had no watched but he worked out a counting rhythm.

Then he began to hold his breath while he counted, and continued to hold his breath twice as long as the logs remained under. He decided it must be the fact of fighting the water that prevented the swimmers from being thrust to the surface again, the way the logs came out.

Finally he was satisfied that he had worked out the plan perfectly in his mind. When there were no other boys around to stop him, he dove into the river and swam toward the whirlpool. As the current dragged him swiftly toward the churning  trap, young Roy closed his eyes and held his breath. He tried to relax his arms and legs. Suddenly it was as if a smooth hand caught his legs and jerked him down toward the bottom of the river bed. He began counting mechanically and tried to think only of that. The roaring water closed on him like a vice, dragging him down, and his ears seemed about to burst. Then suddenly he was floating on the surface again in quiet waters.

This young boy can be used as a symbol of all young people. You stand  on the bank of destiny, You face the challenge of life itself. You face the innumerable problems of life and decisions have to be made. You must decide. I would like to compare what this boy did to what you must do in three of the biggest decisions that you will ever make. Just as this boy relaxed to the buoyant power of the river which gave him his life, so I want, to urge you to give yourself over to the buoyant power of God.

 I want to discuss three basic decisions facing you young people. Decisions which can mean happiness on the one hand, or misery, agony and judgment on the other.

The Decision Concerning  your ultimate destiny

The question of philosophy is “whence have I come.”  This is not the issue of natural child birth but the reason for my existence.  Dorothy Sayers once said that if you want to discuss what is relevant you must talk about the eternal, not the changing relative issues.  Before the universe was spoken into existence there is  God.  The reason there is a universe is because He created life in it to have a relationship with his creation.  Then the most astounding thing happened in history in which God visited his creation in human form in the person of Jesus.  The reason for this visitation was to declare that humans can have a relationship with the Living Savior.  Just as a couple stand before a pastor and commit themselves to one another in a union of marriage,  we humans can have a commitment to Jesus as our Savior from sin and enjoy his presence in our lives forever.   The word “forever” is important.  There is no offer like this in all the universe.

It is crucial that you ponder this decision now.  Remember,  there are some decisions that one can make that precludes other decisions.  There are decision you make that enable you to make future decisions.   Look at a simple decision in our culture.  If you don’t register for the draft you will be precluded from other possibilities.  You cannot  secure some jobs,  you cannot get into some areas of education, etc. 

The importance of this decision for your eternal destiny is that God is described as a Being of Light.  If you reject the Light (Jesus) then there is only Darkness.  Hell is the best creation that God could make for those who reject the Light.

Jesus stands before you. He has shown his love for you through his death on the cross which was in your place. He is saying to you, deny yourself and  come after me. Enthrone me as the Lord of your life. Let me be the Ruler and Master of your life. Let me be your Saviour from sin. Let me give you forgiveness. Let me heal the wounds of your restless seeking heart. Let me give you rest. 'What is your decision to him?

There is one danger I must warn you about. There are many people who grow up and never ask themselves the question: "Am I really a man or woman? They take it for granted that being six feet tall and weighing 180 pounds is the equivalent to be a man. Physical status does not make a man a man. Just as a man never asks himself the question, "Am I a man?" so there are many' people who never ask themselves the question, “Am I a Christian?" They take it for granted. They assume that having been reared in a Christian home they are Christians. They are Christians in the same sense they are men or Americans. Did you ever ask yourself Am I a Christian? Don't be disillusioned. Too much is a stake. You are a Christian if you have trusted Christ with your life as the Saviour of your life. Nothing else  is sufficient.
Are you a Christian?

The Decision Concerning a Life-Partner

The decision concerning a life partner or marriage is really a decision you must make now. Even though you have no one in mind and are not contemplating marriage your attitude that you form now is going to shape the future in your dates. It is one thing to get married and it is another to have a happy marriage. In a survey some years ago at the U. of Illinois, 33 out of 250 coeds admitted that their life's ambition was to get married. I want more for you than the ambition to get married; I want to see you happily married.

There was a verse of Scripture and a motto that influenced my thinking when I was much younger. The verse of Scripture was 2 Cor. 2:9, “Eye has not seen nor ear heard nor the heart of man conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”

The motto was: God gives his best to those that leave the choice to him. I felt that God was able to help me find the partner that was his choice. The decision you will have to make is whether you think you can do the job better than God. I felt that God who was my creator and who knew my whole self better than I could give me a mate that would be a helper rather than a thorn in the side.

If you seek to follow God's will in this important matter it will mean that you must place a guard on your affections. It will mean that you keep your motives for dating wholesome and clean. It will mean that you are particular about who you date. It will mean that you do not become serious about anyone who is not a Christian. It will mean that you pray asking God's wisdom in this matter.

I was greatly encouraged as a young person by the story from the life of Hudson Taylor. Hudson Taylor was a  pioneer missionary to China in the latter part of the 19th century. Because he was a pioneer missionary moving from city to city he did not think it was a good thing for him to marry. Most of the time his heart was far from such thoughts. But one day he met Mary, another missionary in the city of Ningpo. In the course of time he met her many times afterward. Then driven from the city by a rebellion he then found himself lonely for her companionship. Yet he wandered about marriage; his mission income was small and irregular. While he was nursing a small pox patient, another missionary discovered the God given longing in his heart and encouraged Hudson to write Mary about an engagement'--which was the customary way. After two weeks of anxious waiting he received a letter and a
shocking answer. In her own handwriting she said: "If you are a gentlemen you will never mention this subject to me again. Hudson was shocked and questioned his own heart. After praying, he wondered if the handwriting was hers. It was. But it was not her heart’s  desire. An outspoken friend of Mary's made her write the letter which she dictated. In spite of this Mary had the same God-given love for him as he had for her. After several months of patient waiting and questioning concerning  the will of God Hudson obtained permission  from Mary's legal guardian in London  and they were married. Their marriage was an extremely happy and fruitful one. It could not be otherwise when they had determined in their heart to follow God's will.

The  Decision concerning a career.

The third great decision 'is what you are going to do in life. This is a hard  decision. One has to assess his one’s capabilities and recognize one’s limitations. But there is one factor I  want to press for  and that is  What does God want you to do? If you answer this question to his satisfaction, you will be satisfied.   I  strongly believe in the doctrine of vocations. God calls men' and women to serve in all  kinds of vocations. The question is where does he want you. Chaos and  unhappiness  reign where this question  is not answered. There are men in the ministry who should not be because  they have not obtained  the will of God in the matter. There  are people who  should be in the ministry but who  are not because they failed to hear God. There are 'displaced persons in many occupations because they never stopped to ask: what is life all about? What does God want me to do?  God calls men and women to serve Him  as farmers, doctors,  cab drivers, store-keepers, office –workers, housewives,  teachers--in all occupations  but the decision is still one you must decide. Will  I seek God's will in this life time work?  The issue is not what can I do best, but what is the best thing I can do.

 Many years ago I talked with a pastor who faced the decision: what does God want 'me ' to do? He resigned his large church, was moving to Texas to a larger one with big salary.   Before he moved he held a funeral in a little church where the dirt-dobbers  had built a nest in the ceiling, the rain fell through on the casket  and the church wasrun down. After the funeral service one of the deacons cornered him  and said that they hoped he would become their pastor. He said to the deacon, “well, I can't, I've already committed myself  to go to Texas. He went home but he couldn't get the church out of his mind. The words of the deacon, “wehave been praying that you would become our pastor” kept echoing in his mind. Finally, he decided to become pastor of the  little church. He called the Texas church and  told them he couldn't come. He and his wife moved into a four-room parsonage and he  began his job with a salary of
35.00 a week.  He had just bought a newBuick that called  for 100 dollars a month. That  didn’t 1eave anything to live on. With the last eight dollars in his pocket he went to the library, borrowed books on furniture making and created a chair design. He hoped to drum up some kind of business to attract people to the community.  With his eight dollars  he bought materials and  sold the idea to some of the merchants for 900 worth of orders. He then began hiring men to work. After about four years operation the company did over' 2 million dollars  worth of business shipping furniture  to 38 states. In this case the man became a millionaire because he heeded the voice of God to become pastor of the church answering God’s call.  He was  pastor of the church for many years and it had grown. With new people they repaired  the building and giving increased so that money was given for missions.

God's will for your life is one of the most important issues.  Doing God’s will probably does not bring you to be a millionaire, but I can guarantee you that to the extent you seek his will you will have happiness that most millionaires do not with all their money. Your heart and life will be surging with the satisfaction that  you are in God's place and God's calling. There is  no better place to be.

In  conclusion, let me say, there are countless numbers of people  who can look back over their lives and say  about certain events,   “boy, I sure make a blundering decision that affected  my whole life.”

Life has many decision that must be made. God wants to help you. But you will have to seek him, be patience in prayer and be diligent in studying the Bible. The words of the Psalmist are still valid:   “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him, take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”

Here are three decision. Two of them will be in your near future; but one of them may be made today. If you have never trusted in Christ as your Saviour.  If you have never made the decision to trust Christ with your life, I want to invite you to make this decision now.