I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him. For that will mean life for you. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 is a powerful passage to pray with during Lent. I love reflecting upon Moses’ admonition to “choose life….that you may live” (Deut. 30:19).
When praying with this passage earlier this Lent, my mind flashed back to a tree I saw on a recent walk. The tree was growing in, around, and through a fence. It chose to live and grow despite the constraints of the wrought iron fence that was erected far too close. I can only image the fortitude it took for the tree to develop. I can almost feel the pain that the tree must experience to have metal disrupt its life force. I am in awe that the tree flourished in these conditions. This tree chose life!
What is it like for us to choose life? It seems so simple: “Of course, I choose life!” But we all know it is not as easy as just saying “I choose life.” There are struggles and set backs in our days that impede us from fully choosing life – for living our choice for life. Yet, every day is an opportunity to commit ourselves to the Lord and to choose life.
In that passage from Deuteronomy, Moses gives us a recipe, if you will, for choosing life. He tells us that we can choose life by “loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him” (Deut. 30:20).
Loving the Lord: Choose life by spending time with the Lord in prayer each day. Choose life by talking with the Lord and telling him that you love him. Choose Life by loving the Lord in the people you encounter every day.
Heeding His voice: Choose life by listening carefully to the Lord, discerning his word, adopting it and putting it into practice. Choose life by spending time with Scripture and allowing it to work in and through you.
Holding fast to Him: Choose life by trusting in God’s presence in your life and anchoring yourself in his love. Choose life by turning to God in your needs and remaining steadfast in your Baptismal commitment. Choose life by claiming your heritage as a child of God.