Choices…to Be Made Well

Choices. Choices face us every day.

How do we choose…from our many choices?

A story…about choices.

A middle-aged man, named Franklin, received an unusual inheritance from a unconventional uncle. Franklin lived in New England.

The uncle’s will stipulated that Franklin had to choose between the country of Chili or the country Brazil in order to receive his inheritance. Franklin chose Brazil.

It turned out that, in Chili, Franklin would have received land on which uranium, gold and silver had just been discovered.

Once Franklin landed in Brazil, he had to choose between a coffee plantation or a nut farm. Franklin chose the nut farm.

It turned out that the price of coffee increased $5 per pound while the price of nuts plummeted.

As a result, Franklin lost all that he had inherited in Brazil. In order to purchase a plane ticket to return to his home, Franklin sold his gold watch at a local pawn shop.

From the sale of his watch, Franklin received enough money to fly either to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York or to Logan Airport in Boston. Franklin chose to fly to Boston.

When the plane for New York arrived at the boarding gate, Franklin noticed that it was a new jet. He also noticed that its passengers looked friendly and carried delightful souvenirs in their arms.

When the plane for Boston arrived at the boarding gate, the plane was a 1928 tri-motor model whose left wing was partially damaged. As Franklin climbed into the plane, he was joined by a dozen disgruntled passengers who also brought their upset goats on-board.

Over the Andes Mountains, one of the plane’s engines fell off.

Immediately, Franklin unbuckled his seat belt and made his way to the cockpit.

To the pilot of the plane, Franklin shouted, “I am a jinx on this plane! Let me out if you want to save your life and the lives of the passengers! Give me a parachute!”

The pilot replied, “All right. But anyone who bails out needs to wear two parachutes.”

Quickly, Franklin harnessed two parachutes around him. Then, he jumped out of the plane.

As he fell through the air, Franklin tried to make up his mind which ripcord to pull. He chose the cord on the left.

The cord was rusty, and the wire pulled loose.

Franklin pulled the cord on the right. The parachute opened, but Franklin noticed a large tear in the chute’s fabric.

In desperation, Franklin cried out, “St. Francis, save me!”

A Hand from heaven reached down and grabbed Franklin by the wrist. The Hand held Franklin, dangling him mid-air.

A gentle Voice asked, “St. Francis Xavier? Or St. Francis of Assisi?”

*****

Choices. How do we choose…from our many choices?

Throughout the month of August, on Sunday mornings, we continue the sermon series on the healing stories of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel of Mark. This month, we encounter four different people who face choices: to suffer or to be well:

a woman who suffers from a hemorrhage;

a man who suffers deafness and a speech impediment; a man who suffers blindness; and

a man, named Bartimaeus, who also suffers blindness.

All four of these Biblical characters face the choice to continue their ongoing suffering. They also face the choice to be changed and to be made well by Jesus.

They all make the choice to be changed and to be made well.

How do you choose…from your many choices?

When you suffer physically and/or psychologically, you face the choice to see and consult a medical doctor and medical specialists.

When you suffer spiritually and/or emotionally, you face the choice to see and engage with your Divine Physician and your family of faith, who are like “fellow patients” in the journey of life.

How will you choose…from your many choices?

If your body is broken or if your mind is diseased, then seek health from a medical practitioner.

If your spirit is troubled (e.g., you habitually find fault with others rather than seek to find good in others) or if your emotions are damaged (e.g., you consistently see more darkness than light in your days), then seek health from the Divine Healer and from members within your family of faith who are themselves “wounded healers.”

If you are unwell—in body, mind, spirit or emotions—you face the choice to remain unchanged and to continue to suffer. However, you also face the choice to be changed and to be made well.

If you are unwell—physically, psychologically, spiritually or emotionally—may you seek out medically- based care. Likewise, may you also seek out faith-based care.

In Mark 10:51, the following conversation is recorded:

Jesus asked Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, this question: “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus replied: “O Teacher! Let me be made well!”

If you are unwell, what choice—from your many choices–will you make?

Beside you in the journey of faith,
Rev. Barbara