Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Reflections on Choice and Options

Today’s blog has nothing to do with Greek. I can’t even find the Greek word for “options.” But I have been thinking about the topic a lot and thought I would share it.

My oldest son was married on May 10th. Tyler and Rachel had been dating on and off for over three years, and much to our delight finally got married. I was in a reflective mood and was thinking about the ramifications of their choice. It occurred to me that because of their choice, it would be Rachel and not some other girl attending my funeral (whenever that happens). Tyler didn’t date that many girls, but of the ones he did date it is Rachel who will comfort my wife at my death (of course, I am making a couple assumptions in that last statement).

I always told my children that life is full of choices; make them well. With each choice you limit your options.

For example, I choose to get my PhD at Aberdeen, Scotland, and not somewhere in the States. It was the right choice for me, it opened certain doors,but it also closed off many other options.

I almost went to Tyndale House for my last year but decided to stay in Aberdeen. It was during that last year that my friendship with Craig Blomberg and Darrell Bock grew much deeper (I lived with both of them and their wives). But I missed other options, such as having R.T. France as my final advisor. Several years ago in an NIV translation meeting I was looking across the table at Dick (France) thinking that there was a connection between us that I just couldn’t recall. Then I realized that he almost became my supervisor; we both had a good chuckle about that.

The point is that we all make choices. With each choice we focus on a few opportunities made by that choice, and we also set aside many other options we could have experienced if we have made a different choice.

And that is as it should be. Life is a series of choices. As we make the right choices, we focus in on what those choices allow us to do. I chose Greek over Hebrew. I chose to write and create instead of teaching full time. Tyler and Rachel chose each other.

And so I struggle with Hebrew. I miss the legacy of teaching at one school for a career. And Rachel will stand over my grave.

And that is as it should be.