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Posts Tagged ‘choice’

How many times have you gritted your teeth and determined to stop doing that thing you want to stop (or start that thing you know is right)?  How many times have you faced the shopping mall and told yourself you’re not going to buy another overpriced outfit?  How many alcoholics have said NO just before downing that next drink?

The DARE program says this is all it takes.  They tell us that if we just Say NO to Drugs that is enough.  Is it?  For those already battling the addiction, it is not enough.  There has to be something more.

The word YES is beautiful.  It demonstrates a conscious choice to do something positive.  And when used to choose the negative, then at least it’s done with determination and not merely gravitation toward an old unwanted habit.  But we can say YES to something better.  We can choose the park over the mall, and we can choose sobriety over a life ruled by another.

But there’s a bigger picture.  What if we said yes to something that encompassed more than just the issues before us?  What if we said yes to a whole new way of thinking?  What if we had a change of heart?  Instead of living by mind-over-matter, what if we could live by a 180-degree turn of our very soul?

I wonder if this is not what Jesus meant when he told a very prominent ruler that he “must be born again.”  Paul told the Roman church that “to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”  I wonder if focusing on behavior is not “setting the mind on the flesh.”

I think life and peace sound much better.  I think if I let Jesus change my life and not just my behavior, it makes for a much more cohesive way of life.   A change of heart.  Consistency.  And I think that if I let Him change my heart, I can then choose not only better behaviors, but better attitudes, like forgiveness-over-bitterness, or contentment-over-jealousy.

I’ve seen it happen.

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I think what I really want to call this article is something like “A Call to Compassion.”  But first off, let me tell you my position on it, so there’s no confusion:  I am pro-life, and believe that in far too many cases, abortions are chosen when there may have been a better way and provided life for a child who was certainly wanted by somebody.

There.  The next thing I want to make clear is for whom I’m calling this compassion.  I think many on the pro-life side have been rightly calling for compassion for the pre-born.  I agree.  But what I want to do here is call for compassion for the opposing political/social side, no matter which side you find yourself on.

And I think I’m mainly going to have to address my side.  First of all, to say that I’m pro-life implies that the other side is not.  That is not true.  I use that term because it seems to be the title that has stuck.  I know that the pro-choice-ers are also pro-life.  They believe that abortions are necessary at times to maintain quality of life for the mother, or that by allowing the birth, the baby is at risk of a poor quality of life.  Neither would I call them pro-aborts.  It’s the pregnancy that is unwanted, not the abortion that is wanted.  They just see no other viable alternative.

Is there anything I should say to the pro-choice side?  Not much.  I’m not here to try to persuade you otherwise.  There are plenty of resources for that.  I think the difference between us is that we value the choice of the child, understanding that no child ever asked to be born, but also knowing that no child would ever choose otherwise.  Your position values the choice of the mother and her right to determine what is best.

So the way I see it, we’re all pro-life, and we’re all pro-choice.  I hope that we can have a little more understanding and respect for one another.

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There is a very romantic notion which says that there is one and only one life companion, spouse, soul mate, for each of us.  If we are people of faith, we might say there is one person God has in mind for us, and we ask Him to lead us to that one.  Granted, that places a very high value on that one we find, and we cherish that person, believing they were created especially for us and we for them.

What I want to do is disassemble this belief, and for very good reasons.  Please hear me out.

Let’s live in this scenario for just a moment.  I have married the man of my dreams, and believe he is all God has intended for him to be.  He believes the same of me.  Somewhere along the line, sooner or later, my vision will clear – probably about the time he regains his clarity as well.  At that point, and it most likely will progress slowly, we will begin to blame someone.  Usually it is the other spouse, because they did not measure up to what God certainly wanted for each of us.  After all, doesn’t He want the best for us, and isn’t He able to choose well?

Or let’s take it to the next level.  I think we will weary of blaming our spouse and believing he or she will improve with time.  Now it’s time to blame the One who brought us together:  God Himself.  What was He thinking?  Does He even care?  Is He even there?

I’m sure you’ll agree that neither of these scenarios is helpful.  I believe the only logical and healthy perspective is one that takes responsibility for one’s own choice.  This is the one I have chosen and I will love, no matter what.  I will be the best spouse I can be so that he will be satisfied with his choice in me as well.

And from the logical standpoint, all it takes is for one person in the history of humanity to make the wrong choice and the whole thing is off kilter.  From then on, the rest of us are having to settle for less than perfect.  It’s the old domino effect, once again.

My point is not to take the romance out of marriage, but to have a healthy perspective of who we are and who we married.  We are real people who married other real people.  We are capable of life-long love if we take the time to nurture and cherish that which we’ve chosen.  Soul-mates are more often made than found.

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