Sometimes when I visualize my life, I see it as a road. I see myself traveling up this long road, mostly straight and unhindered, with the occasional bend. This visual is probably influenced greatly by my singing of "The Long and Winding Road" in High School choir. It is kind of a nice picture, this pretty winding road we follow through life. A kind of a predestined route that we have only to keep following. Nice maybe, but totally unrealistic.
The real road we walk is very different. It has pot holes, u-turns, stops, flat tires, areas that are unpaved, and falling rocks. It is uncharted and we travel it shrouded in a fog that keeps us from seeing where it is going. Sometimes the road seems easy, but even then there are turns that have to be made that require a choice on our behalf.
Sometimes I think we want to believe our road is predetermined. After all, then our circumstances are out of our control. This is especially true if our life has not turned out the way we expected. After all, life is unfair, right? Well, actually...no. Get ready to curl your toes under because there is a good chance I may be stepping on them.
We make choices every single day and sometimes the choices we make can have big consequences on our lives. We choose what is important to us. Smoking a pack of cigarettes every day, or paying the electric bill? Buying things we don't really need, or saving for a family vacation? Looking at College as too much work and effort, and then 30 years later wondering why we can't live like the Jones's live. Not having the time to spend with our kids, and instead buying them all the latest electronic gadgets, and then when we are older wondering why family time isn't important to them.
Are you bitter? Do you feel like some people get all the breaks? Have you had major tragedies or illness that others have not? You still have the choice. You choose how you handle and respond to events that are out of your control. The event alone does not determine your future...your response to it does.
There is a popular saying, "There but for the grace of God go I." That is true only in circumstances out of one's control and then only in that moment. I want to introduce you to Joni Eareckson Tada. Many of you may have heard of her, if not, take a moment to listen to her story. It is profound. Then maybe the next time you want to blame your circumstances on others or feel sorry for yourself, you will instead decide to choose a more positive turn in the road.