Wednesday, September 4, 2019
choice by choice
“Life is choice. All day, everyday. Who we talk to, where we sit, what we say, how we say it. And our lives become defined by our choices. It's as simple and as complex as that. And as powerful. so when I'm observing that's what I'm watching for. The choices people make”
― Louise Penny, Still Life
Choices. Every day we are bombarded with choices.
In fact studies have shown that many people are stressed because there are too many choices.
We’ve gone from 4 TV channels to 400.
Three or four kinds of soda to dozen of options.
Not to mention what we used to innocently call potato chips…
it takes an entire isle in the store to hold the options.
And it gets worse.
Because we not only have mundane choices, about chips and sodas and TV shows…
we have other choices -- serious choices,
about lifestyle, right and wrong, values, directions, Presidents.
We have choices that shape our lives, determine our destinies, which build us up or tear us down.
A big part of what it means to be human, to be created in God’s image,
is to have the capacity to choose and decide.
It is a wonderful gift that God has given us,
the gift of freedom and self-determination.
It is a terrible gift as well.
The choices are so difficult.
Do I have treatments, or allow the cancer to take its course?
Do I take that new job, or stay where I am?
Do I enter into this new relationship, or avoid it?
Do I respond to a difficult child this way, or that?
Choices, choices…how do we make the right ones?
This creates mental, spiritual, and emotional chaos…
Muller, in his book “a life of being, having, and doing enough” says that we “lose our inner sense of what is the most nourishing or right action for us to take in this moment. We gradually weaken the capacity of our inner thermostat to provide us with reliable, trustworthy information.” In short we lose knowledge and wisdom in the midst of information overload. We lose our vision of what life is meant to be all about.
Muller goes on to ask this question.
“When we envision our most beautifully perfect day,
what do we dream about doing?
Who is with us, and what are the feelings or experiences we yearn for,
how would we fill our day?”
Think about that for a moment.
And then think about how you might get to that place you dream of?
How do you become who you dream of being?
How do you move toward to person you treasure?
How do move toward the things you really value?
Its all about choices
I know it feels, at times, as if we don’t have choices
But we do
And we can choose what Wayne Muller calls the “next right choice”
Muller insists that each day we are confronted with choices, over and over again, each day. These choices shape our moments, our days, our years. The goal is to make the right choice. The best choice!
And that is possible when our choices are inspired by our deepest heart’s wisdom and authentic knowing. And authentic knowing occurs, primarily, when we are paying attention to the Spirit within.
When we allow God, through this Spirit, to inspire and guide us.
It is like following breadcrumbs. God’s Spirit prods us, prompts us
Moves us, restrains us,
Moment by moment we follow the bread crumbs, and we get where God wants us to go. But the path is not straight. There are twists and turns, and unforeseen obstacles. Sometimes, we look way out there and decide where we think we should go, and create our own path.
Sometimes we make a choice that is not the best, and we start off on a wrong direction. Thankfully God is creative and innovative.
And as we keep looking for the bread crumbs, with the help of that Spirit of truth,
God will nudge us where we need to go.
Sometimes we may get a little off the path, and just need a gentle nudge.
Sometimes we may get way off the path, and God may, as the innovator, may have to nudge us less gently….
Or God may even change destinations for us. I think that’s possible.
Plan A becomes plan B (I think I am on Z5)
Sometimes, it is really confusing, because we have gotten ourselves in a place where there are no choices, or, perhaps only bad choices.
But we do have choices
And there is always a way forward.
Our job, as I see it,
is to follow the breadcrumbs
To let the Spirit in us, interact with the creative, guidance of the Sacred
And move us on
Day by day
Step by step
Choice by choice