Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Colossians 3:1-2
In the 1994 movie Forrest Gump, actor Tom Hanks uttered a now famous line, certainly one that has assumed a place in our cultural lexicon. Hanks, musing about the mysteries of life uttered this gem, “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”
This line seemed to perfectly capture Gump’s life, characterized by the myriad twists and turns, brushes with famous people and events, and the eventual realization of his heart’s desire in marrying his childhood sweetheart Jenny, only to tragically lose her early in their marriage to a fatal disease.
It is true that life often presents us with surprises, some good and some not so good. The box of chocolates illustration was meant to convey that idea – life is unpredictable. But let’s carry this picture a little farther and try to apply it to the Christian’s life.
Many boxes of chocolates come with a listing of each chocolate. This is usually printed on the inside of the cover. For those boxes of chocolates that do not give a hint as to what each piece is, how do we determine other than trial and error what each piece contains?
Don’t we rely on previous experience? We know what chocolate covered cherries look like. We also know that in almost every case the caramel pieces are square with a light milk chocolate covering. Brazil Nuts are easily identified as are the coconut haystacks.
Let me suggest to you that we use our experience in picking chocolates we like from the box, and this is where we can learn a spiritual truth. Our experience can help us make choices that result in good and thus avoid many results that are negative.
If life can be compared to a box of chocolates, then we can say we are presented with multiple choices every day. We know from experience that some choices lead to bad consequences. How do we avoid choosing chocolates we don’t like? By training our minds and disciplining our hearts to make the choices we know lead to godliness, holiness, and righteousness. In other words learn which chocolates in the box we like and only choose them.
In our focus passage from Paul’s letter to the Colossian believers we are encouraged to stay focused on spiritual things, to strive to live a heavenly life based on God’s principles, and to reject the principles of this world. I encourage you today friends to make your choices count for the Kingdom in the here and now. When you do you will experience a transformation in your life.