A reading from the Book of Genesis 13:2, 5-18
“…So Abram said to Lot: “Let there be no strife between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land at your disposal? Please separate from me. If you prefer the left, I will go to the right; if you prefer the right, I will go to the left…”
Quite often we are faced with situations that require a fair and agreeable decision between someone else and ourselves. It’s natural to pick the option that is to our liking or best advantage.
In the first reading we see that Abram defers to Lot – his nephew, essentially telling him to pick what he likes and he’ll take the remaining choice. It is obvious to Abram, as well as Lot, “…how well watered the whole Jordan Plain was as far as Zoar, like the LORD’s own garden, or like Egypt.” Surely Abram would have liked having this beautiful land for his own flocks and herds yet, he defers to Lot to make the first choice.
Abram, who was later named ‘Abraham’ by the Lord himself, was a man with great faith in God. Many Saints have admonished us to put others before ourselves, trusting God in all things. Neither Abram, nor Lot, knew that the land that looked like the “LORD’s own garden (Sodom and Gomorrah) would someday be destroyed by brimstone and fire (Gen. 19:24) because of its great offenses against God. In fact, it was Abraham who later interceded with God for the innocent people of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:20-33).
Certainly in matters of faith and morals, we must seek God and the teachings of the Church for guidance before making our choice. However, very often our choices can be guided by charity in giving others the first choice, especially if it was the one we desired, and trust God with the choice we are left with.