Choices

In a given week as I sit one on one with various leaders, I hear many stories of desolation and consolation. It’s always amazing to me how a string of spiritual direction sessions can be so varied. However, each story is a genuine reminder to me of how unique these individuals are in the sight of God.

Over the past week alone, I was struck by the choices being made that contribute to the “state of the soul” these companions are reflecting. Some choices were misguided and led to downfall, discouragement or disappointment. Other choices were spot on and highlighted faithfulness, perseverance and trust in the living God.
How is it that the choices we make are so often missed or disregarded when discerning movement toward or away from God? The spiritual formation process is often slow and imperceptible, and our choices can be blurred by the daily grind. But, our formation can also be the opposite, filled with visible and discernable transformation. When we are growing at a quickened pace and deepening our affections in alignment with a heart that longs for more of God, we indeed experience more obvious renewal from the inside out.

Those who study the history of the church have discovered that three elements are generally in place in seasons of genuine spiritual renewal: fervent study of God’s Word, concerted and united prayer, and a willingness to confess brokenness and dependence upon God. These three choices of the will are ones that each person alive today can make… and when we do, the choices of the heart will follow. This is often the time when we see individuals come alive in the love of Christ, filled to overflowing with the fullness of the Spirit.

What will you choose today? The options before you are numerous. Let me encourage you very simply: Choose life. Choose joy. Choose authenticity. Choose love. Choose forgiveness. Choose peace. These choices (and others like them) will undoubtedly lead you (back) toward God.

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What choices have you made today that have affected your journey toward or away from God?
What small, daily choice do you make that no one really sees?

This entry also appears in Conversations Journal Blog.

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.