Our Greatest Gift

October 6th, 2010

I think we can all agree that the only thing that separates us from our pets is choice. They’re given a home, given food and even given a mate (or they procreate with whatever crosses their path.)  We, on the other hand, can choose with whom we mate, what we want to eat for dinner and even if we want to live in the city or the suburbs. SO, why do we always act like we’re stuck and have no choices? Everything we are today is due to a culmination of the choices we made.

For instance, if you’re sitting at a crumby 9 to 5 cubicle job it’s probably because you decided not to go to college. Or perhaps it was the only job you were willing to take. (Notice my word choice, “you were willing…”). You can CHOOSE to change it. I know, I know, some of you skeptics are probably out there like “I had no choice,” “I gotta do this”. Blah Blah Blah. Sorry, I don’t agree with you. If you think I’m full of malarkey, keep reading.

Seven years ago I was a Northeastern University freshman on an academic scholarship. Pretty good, huh? I CHOSE to work hard for that and I was rewarded.  Year two of college, my best friend and I CHOSE to spend more time chasing women and hanging out with his brother on the streets. We CHOSE to participate in illegal activities. We CHOSE to subject ourselves to this lifestyle. None of us had to be there.

One year later, my best friend was murdered.  (Obviously not my choice, but it was someone’s).  I was so mad at God, I gave up. (Kind of stupid, looking back now).  I CHOSE not to go stay with my mother. I CHOSE not to improve my life. I ended up homeless, running the streets for almost a year. I blamed everyone… everyone except myself.

Ok. Are you guys still following me? I was at rock bottom and I blamed the world. But truly, were these not choices I made?

Then after years of scrounging the bottom, I decided to put things together.  I simply CHOSE to change my life. I began reading books on positive thinking, laws of attraction, the Bible, etc., etc. I CHOSE to mold my life after all I had read. It wasn’t easy, and to be honest, a lot of the time I had to step back, look at what I had, and either accept it or change it. I CHOSE to quit a job that wasn’t right for me; invest money that I didn’t have into a music project; break up with my fiancée and walk from our home, our future, our life, to nothing. I didn’t have a plan in place. I didn’t stay in a volatile situation because I was already engaged. I didn’t ask for an immediate return on the money spent or for guarantees. I wanted something and I CHOSE to go for it, knowing full well the consequences for my actions. There had never been anything in place before I jumped, but I wanted to be happy, so I jumped. Now I have a beautiful son, a wonderful girlfriend, a budding music career, and as you know, a half full glass.

Look, the point I’m trying to make is: Life is made of CHOICES. Ours and what others have made. We blame God every time something’s wrong, but think of this: while God GUIDES us, we make our own choices. IF God had stopped that man from stabbing my best friend, He would have had control of his choices, and we would all be robots. That’s why it’s called free will.

Imagine someone gives you a gift for Christmas. It’s your gift, but he tells you how you can play with it. He doesn’t let you use it the way you want to and even goes so far as to snatch it from you when he really disagrees. Is it really still a gift?  Now imagine he gives you the gift and it’s truly yours. You can do whatever you want with it and although he may recommend proper use, he lets you play. He buys you accessories and fixes it when it’s broken, even if you broke it from misuse. 

That’s the gift we have. We might not be able to change how we got here but we sure can choose in which direction we go.  So next time you find yourself in a situation you hate, ask yourself why you are there. If you’re honest, you will see you got yourself there. Maybe taking responsibility for that will help you change your choices in the future. Trust me, I’ve done it. It works.

Peace and Respect,

Truth Speaks

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the step.”

–          Martin Luther King Jr

A great read that helps demonstrate the gift of choice is “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young.

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