A Story – Mr. McCutcheon’s Visit

This story is a good example of why we should make every moment of every day count for something good. You never really know how the choices you make today will affect you in the future.

We usually think of only bad choices affecting us, but any choice can make your life take a different turn.

If you have asked Jesus to come into your heart, first thing each morning ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in every decision you need to make that day. He will never lead you in making a wrong decision.

By Dr. Michael A. Halleen

“Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.” (Ecclesiastes 3:15)

Some months ago I confessed to my daughter my regret that I had failed to take the opportunity I once had to attend Harvard.  I was caught short by her reply: “But Dad, then you wouldn’t have met Mom!”  We were both struck by the implications: if I had gone to any other college, Barb and I would probably never have met, and our children – and their children – would never have been born.

Each life hinges on a thousand million small moments – a step taken left or right, a decision made yes or no, a chance encounter, an impulse followed or ignored, a near miss.  What we are today – even the fact that we are today – is the end result of those moments.

William McCutcheon was mayor of North Branch, Minnesota in 1884.  He had a wealthy brother living in New York whose wife was unable to bear children.  It happened occasionally at that time that childless couples would approach large immigrant families and offer to adopt one of their children, providing financial help and promising a good home for the child.  And so it was that one afternoon McCutcheon stood in the small front room of a Swedish family that had immigrated the year prior and offered, in behalf of his brother and sister-in-law, to adopt Tony, the oldest of this family’s seven children.

The boy’s mother, a quiet, shy woman who appeared older than her 34 years, found tears coming to her gray-green eyes.  Life was a constant struggle in this frontier wilderness.  They were barely making it.  She gazed for a moment out the window, perhaps looking down the years to her son’s future.  Then she placed her small, weathered hands on young Tony’s head and, through the lump in her throat, said, “Mr. McCutcheon, if God strengthens these hands, somehow we’ll get along.”  McCutcheon nodded, smiled, and stepped out the door.

Tony became my grandfather.

Each of our histories is the sum of yesterday’s choices.  Some we made, some were made for us.  We are the products of their multiplying one upon another, and we can only accept that our histories are what they are.  But many more such moments will occur, even between today and tomorrow.  We do well to consider that today’s choices – may God strengthen our hands as we make them – will send ripples into the future that roll right up to the shores of eternity.

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God has radically changed my life, and I want to share the awesome things I am learning with you. I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life.


This post written by Cathy Deaton.

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About Cathy Deaton


My name is Cathy Deaton, Owner of Fan the Flame Ministries. God has radically changed my life, and He has shown me that I am to share the awesome things I am learning with the Millennial Generation (1981 – 1996), but I love connecting with Christians of all ages.  I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life. You truly can make a difference for God in an uncertain world.