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Decisions have consequences

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By Mark Azzara

We don’t make big decisions (a new house, job or living location) without first discerning that it’s best. And yet what looks good to me today may wind up being very bad tomorrow for me or others.

In John Donne’s words, no man (or woman) is an island. We live in community, or more correctly, communities – e.g., the town, congregation and family of which I am a part. When I make big decisions without regard to the value of community and my place in it I also forget about the people who are in it with me and who may pay the price for my forgetfulness.

For example, after spending last summer volunteering in a rural area with an extraordinary poverty problem, I thought that perhaps I should relocate there permanently. But if God wanted me to relocate I would have had peace in my heart about it. And there was none at all. I found peace in remaining where I am, building up the communities to which I already belong rather than joining a community where I don’t belong.

God knows everything about every community. And only he knows the one(s) where I belong. My challenge, as noted last week, is to listen and obey – a response that takes a lifetime of practice as God attunes me to his voice rather than to my own. That transformation is a huge part and proof of what we call “salvation.”

All God’s blessings – Mark

Mark Azzara

About Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara spent 45 years in print journalism, most of them with the Waterbury Republican in Connecticut, where he was a features writer with a special focus on religion at the time of his retirement. He also worked for newspapers in New Haven and Danbury, Conn. At the latter paper, while sports editor, he won a national first-place writing award on college baseball. Azzara also has served as the only admissions recruiter for a small Catholic college in Connecticut and wrote a self-published book on spirituality, "And So Are You." He is active in his church and a non-denominational prayer community and facilitates two Christian study groups for men. Azzara grew up in southern California, graduating from Cal Sate Los Angeles. He holds a master's degree from the University of Connecticut.

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