January is a season for resolutions. As we survey the year we’ve just completed, we look ahead and dream of what the next year may hold and what value we might instill on the coming season.
A friend once told me: “Joe, I’ve come to realize that my life is not made by the dreams that I dream but by the choices that I make.”
Count on it: You will have plenty of choices in life. And usually, they boil down to a choice between “What do I want?” and “What’s best for others?”
After their husbands died, Ruth and Orpah were faced with a strategic choice (Ruth 1:11). Their mother-in-law Naomi told them they should go home. She didn’t want them to feel any obligation to her, in spite of the fact that her loss was far greater. She had lost her own husband and both of her sons.
Orpah and Ruth could either go home and start a new life or stay with Naomi to help her in a time of great need. They knew very well that the latter choice would probably mean living in a foreign land as widows for the rest of their lives since few Jewish men would want to marry a foreign woman.
“Wherever you go, I will go; and . . . your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” —Ruth 1:16
Ruth chose to serve the needs of Naomi rather than to serve herself. Orpah chose to leave Naomi for what she thought would be a better life. Ruth went on to play a significant role in Jewish history and became an ancestor of Jesus (Matthew 1:5).
When you think about the choices you’ll make in the year ahead, make the best choice: choose to serve others.
When we’re involved in serving
And meeting others’ needs,
We’re imitating Jesus
In thoughts and words and deeds. —Fitzhugh
Serve God by serving others.