At the Heart of the Matter

Have you ever heard of Domino Toppling? It’s a pastime, or hobby, in which someone takes domino game pieces, places them on a hard structure, at precise distances from one another. I have watched videos of people who painstakingly set up elaborate patterns of dominos that can cover something as large as a entire gymnasium floor. There are curves, turns, splits, and even ramps incorporated into some designs. Hours and/or days of work culminate in the ultimate act of destruction when the creator of the design, slightly tips over the lead domino. You watch in fascination while gravity takes over and each and every subsequent domino falls into the next domino, until every single domino is knocked over. The fact that each domino falls is a direct consequence to the domino falling directly before it. It’s the law of gravity that takes over. Take a few minutes sometime and watch a few videos, there’s plenty of them out on YouTube. Why do they do it? Why would someone want to destroy their work of art, that they painstakingly and precisely shaped? I am not sure!

One one simple action, one slight touch, and the chain reaction is unstoppable. It’s also true in our lives. Ezra Taft Benson said “You are free to choose, but you are not free to alter the consequences of your decisions.” And, no matter what choice you make, there will always be consequences, whether good or bad, positive or negative. There’s no escaping the consequences for your actions. Make the wrong choice, and you’ll (and perhaps others) will pay for your action. Make a good choice and chances are you’ll be rewarded. It’s the old adage from Galatians 6:7 of you reap what you sow. It’s the way that things work, and whether we like it or not, the world will hold us accountable for each and every action that we take.
The world takes that view from the outward signs of our lives – our words and actions. And unless we honestly convey the thoughts behind our actions, others don’t know how we really feel, what we really think. Others simply make judgements based on what we say and what we do. After all they can’t see inside of us, and they don’t know what’s in our heart.
That’s in stark contrast with the one who redeems us, He’s the only one who can truly see what’s inside of us. While others look at the outward appearance, He looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). He knows our every thought. God gives us mercy, instead of punishment. He gives us forgiveness. He rescues us. That’s not to say that we will not suffer the consequences of our actions. But, if we are willing, God takes those consequences that we experience in the world to shape us into His likeness. He gives us that choice (free will) to either reflect the world and push others away from Him, or we can reflect God and draw others towards Him. And with that, we’ve come full circle, but hopefully we’ve now left our world in a better place than where it was before.

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