Life is full of choices. Sometimes I try and sit back and count how many choices I make each morning before I leave my house. I think about the choice of whether to get a shower before I eat breakfast or after. The choice of breakfast food to eat. Some things are left to habit, like which side of your teeth to start brushing first, but even in that situation a choice is made to follow habit or break the mold. We make millions of choices and we don’t even realize it until the consequences of the choice, whether good or bad, smack us in the face.
Some choices we look back on and say, “I’m so glad that was the choice I made…what an amazing turn out. I can’t imagine not making that choice. Man, my life would be so much worse had I not made THAT choice!”
Other times, the response is not so positive. You may have said or heard things like, “Looking back, that was the turning point that led me to here and I wish I could go back.” or “I’ll never understand what I was thinking!”
Or maybe it’s not even YOUR fault, but somebody else’s choices negatively effected you. While playing with his transformers, little Jeff’s parents walk in, sit him down and explain to him they are no longer going to be living together. They try to explain that it’s not Jeff’s fault that they won’t be married anymore, but Jeff can’t help but wonder if he hadn’t asked for those wretched robots maybe things could be better. It’s not little Jeff’s fault, but his life is forever changed.
The point is that a choice holds more weight then we give it credit for. A choice has the power to change a life, break a life, make a life, take a life. A choice gives us the ability to be controlled or be in control. A choice, something that can be made in seconds, has the potential to change years of our lives and the lives of others.
I can look back to 8 years ago in my life and see choices that I made that are still effecting me today. 8 years ago when I made the choice, I assure you I was not thinking, “How will this effect my life 8 years down the road??” I was only worried about that moment. We’ve all made choices.
And since we’re not perfect….we’ve all made choices we would make differently if given the chance.
Sometimes, the choices we make…or the choices made by others create in us a desire to put up defenses against the way we are effected by the consequences of those choices. Everybody does it differently.
Karen always laughs, even when she’s not happy. Melanie is so organized it’s insane. Mark can’t stop joking, he never takes anything seriously. While Alex won’t let himself have any fun and falls deeper into depression. Hope makes herself bleed because she’s lost….hope.
Do you have a defense?
If you’re answer is an immediate “no!” I want to ask yourself again and really take a second to look inside yourself.
Have you made choices that you regret and made yourself a safe place in order to get away from everything?? The problem with getting away from everything is that you’re not around anything.
There’s a great song that comes from a band that is way deeper and more profound than their image portrays. Relient K is a band from right here in Ohio and they wrote a song called I Am Understood? I love that title.
Because it asks a question.
Really? I’m understood. Someone understands me? Someone can look into my soul and see the real me and it actually makes sense??
I don’t even make sense to myself sometimes. But…really?? I’m understood? What a relief!
The song is like a letter, sung to God, where the singer exposes himself completely to a God that already sees everything. It’s a reminder that God is big.
As the song closes, the passion is contagious as the singer belts out in a series of repetitive cries,
“Your voice has broken my defense, let me embrace salvation!”
I want my defense to be broken. I want the walls that I put up because of my bad choices to be broken down.
When I make a bad choice, I take a step away from God and another brick is added to the wall that is slowly gaining momentum as it tries to separate me from my soul’s deepest craving. But when God speaks, the walls crumble.
The same voice that breathed the world into existence and the same breath that was exhaled to bring the first man his first breath is the same voice and breath that breaks down the walls of our defense.
The next step is to embrace it.