Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Power of Choice

Someone told me that angels envy humans because they get to choose to love God. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I do know that the act of choosing empowers that which is chosen. I always thought that was the point of the story of Job, but I could be wrong. I’m not wrong about the importance of making conscious choices about our attitudes and responses though.

The Law of Sacrifice by Brett and Kate Mckay tells the story of James Fredette and the choices he made. If you don’t read anything else today read his story and what the Brett and Kate Mckay have to say about choice and sacrifice. “If you are unhappy in your choice, it is because you chose something that you do not really believe to have higher value than that which you left behind.”

Some of you are reading this and saying, “Yeah, but I didn’t have a choice.” Your husband left you, your job got downsized or outsourced, your daughter ran off with the village idiot. You’re right; you didn’t have a choice about what happened to you. Bad things happen to us all though, each and every one of us. It’s all part of the wilderness experience of being human. Come on, you know that. You may not have a choice about what happens to you, but you do have a choice about how you respond. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl remains one of the most powerful books I’ve read to date. Dr. Frankl was a therapist in Nazi Germany when he was sent to a concentration camp during The Holocaust. While he was in Theresienstadt concentration camp he noticed that some people rose to the occasion and he wondered why. There’s a little more to it than that but, that’s the gist of it. His book is a life lesson in the power of choice. “Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.”

Make no mistake about it; negativity in all its innumerable forms is a choice that you make because you believe it has more value than love. Complaining makes us feel powerful in a world where we may feel powerless. Sniping and ridicule masquerade as insights. Shout your woe is me sad story loud enough and you might get to claim your ten minutes of fame on national T.V. We imprison ourselves with negativity and call it what it’s not, reality. Every moment of every day we choose. We choose to sit in love or we choose to sit in fear. It’s either fear or love, baby. It’s all up to you.

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