Updated on October 2, 2012
free to choose, slave to consequences
“i feel trapped”
“i don’t have a choice in the matter”
“everything is out of my hands”
“i just don’t have enough time”
we say these things so very often. we choose to see our lives from a victim perspective, as one who did not have a choice. the truth is, we do have a choice. what we so often do not like is that our choices lead to consequences–and it is those consequences that we despise.
yes, life happens, people act toward us in myriad ways–and we cannot choose their actions. we can, however, choose our reaction. but let’s be honest–this one area of life, the way others treat us, is very small in comparison to the consequences about which we complain so often.
the college student complains about homework. the parent complains about the kids. the spouse complains about the other spouse. the pastor complains about the congregants or the time demand. the employee complains about the boss or the work.
but we made those choices. the college student didn’t have to go to college–“but then i wouldn’t get the job i want”–yet another choice. parent could have not had children–“but i wanted children”–yet another choice. the spouse could have chosen single-hood instead–“but i would have been lonely”–another choice to choose a mate rather than be alone. the employee could leave–“but then i would struggle financially”–another choice.
we have the freedom to choose–and those choices enslave us to their consequences. yes, enslave. you make a choice, then consequences come. it is the way of nature, the way of creation. and as created beings, we will always be a slave to something–and that may make you furrow your brow. we don’t like the concept of slavery–it has negative connotations. how about this: as a created being you will serve a master.
as created beings, we will always be enslaved to something. but, and this is a very powerful all-caps kind of BUT, you get to choose your master.
will it be the master of money, about which some famously say that just a little more will be enough, and then just a little more?
will it be the master of interpersonal relationship–with failing humans who will eventually hurt and disappoint?
will it be the master of career respect–that changes like the shifting shadows?
will it be the master of saying yes to everything–which only creates more opportunities to say another yes and another yes and another…
or will it be the Master who proves faithful every day, Whose love exceeds any that you have ever or will ever know, Who gives love and respect and honor?
that choice, and all the others that follow, contribute toward the flourishing or destruction of your life.