Every minute of every day we are given a choice as to how we want to live. Will the path we choose be that of the world, seeking wealth, fame, money, and power? Or will the way be that of Jesus, as a servant, as one who loves all mankind, as one who gives up worldly desires and reaches for heavenly desires? It’s a constant challenge, answering the call of God. The world calls us so loudly, so persistently, that it is easy to falter.
Of course the ultimate inspiration is the one provided by the life of Jesus and his words in the Bible. However, reinforcement is always good. It is here that “I Will Choose Christ” by Tom Booth is a valuable source of support. The title itself indicates the proper path that we should follow.
The refrain provides the core message of the song. We should choose Christ, the path to love and grace, rejecting the path to material things. We are not called to be served, but to serve, as Jesus himself said (Mt 20:28). This is not to be a half-hearted effort, when we can squeeze out a little time. It is to be a 100 percent commitment (Lk 9:24). That is not an easy thing to do.
It is important to remember that God is not passively waiting for us to decide to follow him. He calls each one of us daily. As St. Paul said, “(God) chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him” (Eph 1:4). And Jesus himself said, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you” (Jn 15:16). God calls us continually. Do we listen? Do we ever think about how many times he has called us, but we were “too busy” or “too tired?” It is so important to set apart quiet time to hear God and respond as a servant of all.
Who is the best teacher that we have as an example to follow the will of the Father? Jesus, of course. He served all. He healed the sick. He raised the dead. He forgave sins. He called sinners. He died on the cross for us, the ultimate act of love. Jesus, who was free from sin, died on the cross for us sinners, to redeem our sins. What more can one do to show one’s love?
By gazing on that cross, which was seen as the ultimate act of humiliation for the ancient Romans but is our symbol of hope and victory, we come to realize that we, too, must die in Christ (Rm 6:5-6). By dying in Christ, we will die to the world and come to live in Christ. This is the ultimate good, the ultimate goal of our lives.
Tom Booth’s song is so rich in meaning. It acts as a reminder that we have choices, and that the saving choice is the one picked by Jesus Christ.
By Norm LeDonne