My daughter is sick. I don’t know if it’s the flu or a bad cold or what, but her main symptom throughout the weekend was a sore throat that literally reduces her to tears. We’ve tried many things over the past few days to try to get her to feel better: popsicle after popsicle, warm tea with honey (that didn’t go so well), cough drops (she thinks they’re candy). Tonight I remembered a natural medicine I bought for myself a few years ago. I dug it out and thought I’d struck gold. I just knew I had found the one thing that was going to work. I nearly did a jig in anticipation of the relief she would soon feel and the easy bedtime we were going to experience tonight.
What I didn’t anticipate, though, was that my daughter’s stubborn streak would get in the way of all my plans. She apparently decided that she preferred having a sore throat to trying a new medicine. Instead of trying the medicine (which has two ingredients: honey and water), she chose instead to continue in her discomfort. The little cup of medicine remains, even now, on the counter where I first set it.
For a couple of hours now, we have been relatively unsympathetic every time she whines, “My thooooaaaaat huuuurrrrrtssss…..” We are not typically uncaring people, but we have a shortage of sympathy when she knows what she needs to do but refuses to do it. The solution to her complaint is right in front of her, but in stubbornly refusing to do it, she is choosing the very thing she is complaining about.
As frustrating as it is for me to hear her incessant whining over something she could easily fix, I’ve realized that I do the same thing. I complain about the way my clothes fit…and then I veg on the couch instead of working out. I choose a carb-fest instead of a sensible salad. On and on.
I know what I need to do to remedy the thing I’m complaining about….but do I do it? No. I choose an easier route instead of the solution. In doing so, I am choosing to be unhappy. It’s a passive choice…but a choice nonetheless.
And how many of us complain about our lives, knowing just what we need to do to make things better? How many of us know what changes we need to make in order to improve how we are living, but choose not to do them? How many of us wonder why things never change for us, when we have passively made the choice for things to always remain the same?
I’ve heard it said that if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. Likewise, we are considered responsible for what we know.
If we know, therefore, that our lives are unbalanced, and we know why we’re off balance…and we know we need to focus on God…center ourselves on His purpose for our lives…change the way we make choices and think about things…..but we just don’t do it, it’s no one’s fault but our own. We have made the choice.
If anything in this series has spoken into your life, you have some work to do. If anything here has resonated with you – even in the smallest of ways – you owe it to yourself to do the work you’re now aware you need to do. You know something needs to change, and until you choose to change it, it will always be the same.
If you need and want balance, you have to choose the things that will cause balance. Period. Choosing other things means you choose imbalance. It means, essentially, that you prefer your stressed-out, scattered, harried life over any alternative. We have a choice. Not making a decision… Well, that is a decision itself.