As I talk to people I sometimes repeat myself. There are some recurring themes in what I say to people in a wide range of situations, and one of them is “life is a choice!” You do not have to live your life dictated to by your feelings – it is your choice how you respond to what life throws at you. This week I have been trying to make a list of the choices that are currently facing me, and it occurred to me that with just a little generalising they might apply to you as well. As you look to your future, what are you choosing?
- To value people and use things or to use people and value things? Is that reflected in how I use my time and money?
- To give or to get? In other words is my aim to gather wealth or share what I have by giving generously?
- To learn new skills and risk failure or continue to complain about the rut I’m in and accepting the mediocrity of the status quo? When was the last time I learnt something new?
- To build relationships or destroy them? Will I take the risk of communicating or just complain that I am lonely and nobody talks to me?
- To resist and avoid pain or seek to use it constructively? I may not know why this is happening to me but will I choose to believe that God is in it with me?
- To be thankful for all that I have rather than lamenting all the things that I don’t have? Am I selfishly hoarding stuff that I would be better off without?
- To stand for truth or abandon it? Am I prepared to intercede for the powerless and downtrodden or stay comfortable in my ignorance?
- To persevere or just give in? Anything worthwhile in life will not just happen, so am I prepared to give it all I’ve got till I win the prize?
- To value time or kill it? Time is not a renewable resource, am I using this precious commodity wisely or squandering it without thought?
- To speak wisely or foolishly? Do I think about what I’m saying or just let it all gush out, without recognising the damage I might be doing?
Ten points are more than enough to ponder, but I can summarise it in one “am I positive or negative?” Each day we make a choice, and if you are sick of being negative all the time, choose to do something different. As somebody once said, “If you do what you have always done you will get what you have always got”. Start with the list above, get specific, and get positively passionate about life! If that feels impossible then maybe you need some help – God is ready and willing to do just that all you have to do is ask!
Chaplain Ian Whitley