I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.
We’re not always comfortable with the idea of choice. Choice equates to responsibility—the responsibility for creating our own lives, for better or worse. Most of us pretty much get the lives we choose, the lives we fashion. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” That’s a hard thing to face if we’re not happy with ourselves. It’s so much easier to blame circumstances or other people for whatever is wrong in our lives. If we think of ourselves as victims, we have someone or something to blame; we don’t have to be responsible for our lives. But the truth is inescapable.
We have choices to make at every stage and every age in life, and those choices will guide the direction and outcome of our lives. Yes, some people have childhoods that are nightmares, and the effects of that trauma must be faced. Others have spouses who are unloving or abusive; bosses who are managerial monsters. Many people have truly difficult … even heart-breaking … situations in life. But wise counselors have always told us that it isn’t what happens to us that matters most; it’s what we do with what happens to us; how we react and how we make our choices. The responsibility of making good, healthy, positive choices is ours, no one else’s. It is a truth to which God holds us at any age.
©Carol Dean Henn
Carol Dean Henn of St. John’s Windish Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, PA