Many, many things, I’ve learned over the years to accept and bear regardless of the difficulty. Others, though, continue to wear on me…things that are hard that don’t have to be. We all make choices, we choose many things throughout every single day on earth. From the simple to the complex, we can choose wisely and with consideration of the impact our choices will have on us and on others. We can choose kindly, as well as wisely. Oh, how I wish, we would all choose kindly!
Life presents us with plenty of challenges and burdens that are not of our own choosing. When we, by choice, add more on top of the unchosen, we become overburdened and our burdens overflow onto all those around us, and so our choices have far-reaching consequences.
I think of these things often. I want to bear all things with grace, yet I continually find myself facing the unnecessary struggles with exasperation, unease, and sadness.
The greatest challenge I face as a mother and as a teacher is to convey the importance of consistently choosing well. So often we are faced with choosing between momentary and immediate gratification for our flesh verses denying our flesh in the immediate for a better outcome longterm. From getting up early instead of sleeping precious day away to buying what we don’t need because we want it now and later not being able to pay for the things we must have. Little by little, we build a pattern of behavior by choices that may seem small and inconsequential when looked at in and of themselves, but over time they all add up to a particular lifestyle and weigh heavily with significance for the kind of life we live.
I was thinking this morning of all the years I spent going to bed late and rising early because that is exactly what it took to fulfill my commitments. Had I not chosen to push myself, to schedule myself, to do what didn’t feel very good, I would never have finished school or held down a good job or properly cared for my home and child. Had I chosen to spend what I earned on things that didn’t matter, I wouldn’t have had the money for the things that did. All choices contribute to the quality of life we have.
I often think of how little it would take in the handling of our money for huge consequences to result. We are blessed to have enough to share, but if we chose to drive new cars instead of old cars, our disposable or shared income would disappear. Just one decision would radically alter our financial picture. That is true for most people, yet untold thousands live strapped to the hilt for no other reason than their own choices. It bothers me…
Sensitivity to facts is something I think we can all benefit from. May we choose wisely and kindly for ourselves and for those we love.