AN observer has referred to the 1980s as ``the age of overchoice.'' It's not difficult to see the reasoning behind this label. In many areas of life there has been a virtual explosion of new options available. For instance, twenty years ago most television sets received only a few stations. Today it's possible to choose from scores of different channels. Twenty years ago most savings deposits were made with a local bank in simple interest-bearing accounts. Today there are many different kinds of accounts from which the saver can choose. However, the options are still rather simple in relation to the crucial spiritual choices that each of us must make. We choose to put either God or materiality at the center of our affections. We choose to bless and uplift others or to serve primarily ourselves.
The Bible admonishes us to choose a deep love for God and man. The Old Testament leader Joshua, for example, challenged his followers: ``Choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . as for me and my house, we will serve the lord.'' And the people responded with the right choice by saying, ``God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods . . . .'' 1
The crucial spiritual choices facing each of us are also indicated in this passage from the pen of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science and founder of this newspaper: ``Between the centripetal and centrifugal mental forces of material and spiritual gravitations, we go into or we go out of materialism or sin, and choose our course and its results. Which, then, shall be our choice,--the sinful, material, and perishable, or the spiritual, joy-giving, and eternal?'' 2
When we elect to put ``the spiritual, joy-giving, and eternal'' at the center of our days, we find our decisions less complex and time-consuming. We don't ignore the legitimate human choices that need to be made, but we make them in the context of our primary choice-- serving God--and this enables us to express intelligence and unselfishness in the course we follow.
Christ Jesus taught that great blessings come from choosing to put the spiritual first. He said, ``Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.'' 3
Jesus wasn't asking us to do the impossible. In fact, Christian Science proclaims that it's our true nature to put God first. The children of God naturally love God. God has created man to depend on Him. We are not made to depend on the ``sinful, material, and perishable.''
God is divine Mind, as the Bible implies. Therefore our creator is an ever-ready source of guidance and wisdom, which we can discern in prayer. Divine Mind supplies us with vision and courage with which we can make intelligent choices.
God hasn't created man to be absorbed or confused by a series of options. Nor is God Himself presenting man with an excessive array of confusing options. God is always governing His creation wisely, and through prayer we're enabled to make progressive decisions in harmony with our primary choice--honoring God and cherishing our fellow beings.
Our part is to make the right spirit ual choice more consistently. Frequent prayer, and study of the Bible along with Mrs. Eddy's writings, will provide invaluable reminders of our need and ability to choose God.
And what happens when we make this all-important choice? What happens when love for God and man stands at the center of our days? Mrs. Eddy answers: ``What has not unselfed love achieved for the race? All that ever was accomplished, and more than history has yet recorded.'' 4
Unselfed love for our Father and His creation is the right choice. Ultimately this is the only choice we can make even in an age of overchoice.
1 Joshua 24:15, 16. 2 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 19. 3 Matthew 6:33. 4 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 238. Daily Bible Verse: Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2