Rev. Brad Morris

“To be, or not to be?” That is the question? No, that is not the question, or even a choice. If you are able to read this then you already are, so you cannot, not be. Confused? Don’t feel bad. Life is full of confusing choices. Some of them are necessary choices and others are just fluff, or non-issue choices. To live or not to live is a necessary choice. To live you choose to eat food, and drink liquids and breathe. To not live you must choose not to do those things.

A few years back you would go to the grocery store and at the checkout they would ask you, “Paper or plastic?” You had to choose the type bag you wanted your groceries bagged into. Was that necessary? I think not. The first time they asked me, “Paper or plastic,” I just gave them one of my normal dumb confused looks which begged them to please tell me, “Paper or plastic what?” Aside from the environmental issue of paper is good and plastic is bad (or is it the other way around, recycle plastic and save the trees). See what I mean?

We are surrounded by choices. I remember wishing at the time that the clerk would have simplified my life and just put my groceries in a bag. I could have lived with that and honestly not lost sleep over them using paper or plastic. Or maybe, how about if they would have decided on a nice combination of both, say paper for the dry items and plastic for the wet stuff. That’s what happens now when I go to Publix and they put my regular items in the cloth bags I take with me and the wet items they put in plastic. All without asking me. Of course it has been several weeks since I’ve been to Publix, hopefully they haven’t changed.

Some things are not a choice, but a necessity; breathing for example. For me, living is another example. I want to live, and so I believe that choosing not to live is really not a choice for me. But it really is, to live or not live? Life is precious. The point is, we all make choices every day. Some are good choices but the down side is that all of us do make bad choices. Almost everyone I know and have asked the question admits that they almost always choose the wrong line at the grocery checkout counter. See what I mean?

Choices are important. Most of us are where we are today, living in Georgetown for example, because we choose to live here. What? You say you did not choose to live here, you were born here. Well, if you are not a child or still living with your parents, you chose to live here. If you are old enough to be on your own, and you live here you chose it. I can hear some of you out there disagreeing with me over this. Let me explain. You may not want to live here, or you may not like living here, but if you are here, you chose to be here. It may be that you were born here or your parents moved here and then you grew up and just stayed. And you may feel that you did not choose to be here, but you have. By not choosing to go somewhere else, you chose to stay. See?

Choices are sometimes tricky. We think that if we do not choose, we have not made a choice. But the act of choosing not to choose is also a choice that we make. It is kind of like a Catch 22 situation. You can choose to choose, or you can choose not to choose, but either way you have made a choice, one is active and the other is by default. Either way, our lives are affected by the choices we choose to make or that we choose not to make.

I truly am not trying to confuse you, but I am trying to help us see that our life today is impacted by the choices we made or did not make yesterday. So of course, we have to understand that our future will be impacted by the choices, which we make or do not make today. Some government leaders understand that principle, and others do not. The ones who know decisions must be made, though they are difficult are the better ones. The ones who think that continually putting off or ignoring issues and not making a choice is the way to go are the truly clueless ones.

That is a whole other area about choices. Sometimes, other people choose for us. Watch out for that. If I can’t choose correctly all the time for myself, what are the odds that someone else who really doesn’t have my interest in mind will choose correctly for me? Don’t take the choices of your life lightly. They can determine your future happiness and well being. Choose wisely!

Proverbs 8:10-11, Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Psalms 25:12, Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.

Brad Morris, a retired minister, originally from Georgetown, served as a pastor and then as a missionary in Costa Rica and Ecuador, can be reached at He has been in ministry for 50 years and a columnist for 17 years, 13 of which have been for the Times.