If you play with fire you’re in danger of getting burned. That’s what the U.K. governments are having to do in dealing with Covid. They have to make unenviable decisions and whatever those decisions are someone is going to complain. It’s amazed me from the start that the English government’s scientific advisory body, SAGE, have failed to speak with one voice. It seems that almost daily someone breaks ranks to complain and present an independent view, undermining their own committee’s work and confidence in the government.
What a nightmare scenario the governments of the four home nations face. If Boris Johnson gets it wrong he may as well say goodbye to his career. He will be hounded out of office if he acts too soon and people die as a result. Mark Drakeford is safer because he will soon be leaving politics anyway, but he could be accused of moving too slow. There are some frustrated Welsh people wanting to open up as England opens. Nicola Sturgeon has shown that she’s a tough cookie and will act as she sees fit, but she has a nation to keep onside if she wants independence so may rush decisions rather than offend people whose votes she wants. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has only just taken up post and his priority will be the Northern Ireland Brexit Protocol. It will be important for him to work with Sinn Fein to deal with Covid but he’ll soon face anger from his own party if he gets too ‘pally’, so sound decisions may not be easy to make.
Difficult decisions are ones that none of us like to make. Some of us don’t even like making simple decisions. We’re the great procrastinators, the double minded people who don’t know what they want. That’s me when looking at a restaurant menu, I can never decide until I have to give in my order. I can make big decisions though and have done so in my career, decisions about staffing appointments and redundancies, decisions about curriculum and exams, decisions about rewarding positive behaviour and excluding pupils for negative behaviour. I couldn’t ignore those decisions and I didn’t make any of them lightly.
We all have a decision to make. It’s actually a very simple decision, but we make it as difficult as possible for ourselves by listening to negative, sneering voices. It’s a decision that will guarantee a wonderful future, peace and contentment, freedom from fear of death, everything about this decision is positive if you make the right and the obvious choice, but so many people don’t. A wrong choice turns all the positives into negatives and why would you want that? In the Bible Joshua once said this to the people of Israel:
“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. … But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, …. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (1)
This is the decision I’m referring to that we all have to make. The Lord is Almighty God, the creator of heaven and earth, the one who made us and who chose to let his son die for us to free us from our sins. He wants us to serve him, not to oppress or to enslave us, but because he knows that our greatest happiness is found in following, or serving him. Our maker knows what is best for us. The people responded to Joshua, “We will serve the LORD.” (2) They made the right decision. They understood that there is nothing more desirable than serving the Lord. He had rescued them from Egypt and took them into their promised land. He had cared for them and been faithful to them. They were happy to be faithful to him and to serve him.
What about you? Will you serve him, or would you rather serve someone else? Bob Dylan once wrote, “It may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” He’s right. Whether you realise it or not those are the only choices available. I’m with Joshua and the people of Israel. I’m going to serve the Lord. I’d love it if you did the same.
- Joshua 24:14,15
- Joshua 24:21