Thought for the Week from Rev Arthur Clarke: Life is about choices and consequences

Toni Morrison, the doyen of Afro-American novelists, received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1992 and began her acceptance speech with this story.
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"Once upon a time there lived in a small wooden house on the outskirts of a town an old woman, the daughter of a slave.

"She was regarded by some as a prophetess whose estimation of situations was insightful, but to the local "chattering classes", she was treated with suspicion.

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“One day, this old lady was visited by some college students bent on mischief and exposure of the sincere local font of wisdom.

Rev Arthur ClarkeRev Arthur Clarke
Rev Arthur Clarke

"The spokesperson for the group began thus: 'Old woman I hold in my hand a bird, is it dead or alive? The old woman saw them coming.

"If she said it is dead, they would let it fly away. and if she said it was alive they would crush it to death.

"She replied: ‘I do not know whether the bird in your hand is dead or alive, but this I do know, it is in your hands’.”

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Those young people held in their hands the future of that little bird just as we self-determining mortals hold in our hands our ultimate destiny as we are responsible for our choices and decisions.

We are the creators of our own future. God, in common grace, has afforded us the power of choice. Life is precious and, as a rich tapestry, it must be handled with care.

So many possibilities await us.

To throw away our best days in undisciplined self-indulgence is spiritual folly.

When advising his colleagues in government, celebrated United States President Abraham Lincoln often quoted this line: "Remember you will be remembered in spite of yourselves".

LIfe is about choices and therein lies its richness and possibilities, but in the long run choices bring consequences.

As an old maxim has it, take what you want from life - take it and pay for it!