Ida and David both wanted all their sons to graduate from college. They knew their boys would have to pay their own way since David never made more than US$150 a month.
Still, they encouraged their sons to achieve all they could. Arthur, however, went directly from high school to a job. Edgar began studying law. When Dwight graduated he didn’t have a goal in mind, so he and Ed made a pact: Dwight would work two years while Ed studied, sending Ed as much as he could, and then they would reverse the arrangement. While working Dwight found an opportunity that appealed to him more than college—West Point. Both Ida and David were crushed by Dwight’s decision. Ida was deeply convinced that soldiering was wicked. Still, all she ever said to him was, “It is your choice.”
David also remained silent, allowing his adult son full freedom to forge his own future.
Yes, Ida and David wisely held their tongues—but they never withheld their applause, especially on the day their son, General Dwight Eisenhower, became President of the United States of America.
Great story, isn’t it? Entitled “Hold Your Tongue” from God’s Little Devotional Book, it tells us the importance of choice.
Jim Rohn says the same thing too. Listen to what this motivational speaker has to say about choices.
Any day we wish, we can discipline ourselves to make important changes in our lives. Any day we wish, we can open the book that will open our mind to new knowledge. Any day we wish, we can start a new activity. Any day we wish, we can start the process of life change. We can do it immediately, or next week, or next month, or next year.
We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labor, entertainment over education, delusion over truth, and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. But while we curse the effect, we continue to nourish the cause.
As Shakespeare uniquely observed, “The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves.” We created our circumstances by our past choices. We have both the ability and the responsibility to make better choices beginning today. Those who are in search of the good life do not need more answers or more time to think things over to reach better conclusions. They need the truth. They need the whole truth. And they need nothing but the truth.
We cannot allow our errors in judgment, repeated every day, to lead us down the wrong path. We must keep coming back to those basics that make the biggest difference in how our life works out. And then we must make the very choices that will bring life, happiness and joy into our daily lives.
Jim continues saying: “And if I may be so bold to offer my last piece of advice for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life—If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life—and it all begins with your very own power of choice.”
You know what? Jim is right. Not making a choice is likewise a choice in itself, and this is why we should make sure we make the right choices.
What are the right choices?
It is to choose the things of God over the things of this world. One is eternal, the other one is temporal. It is to choose faithfulness over betrayal. One builds the family, the other one destroys it.
It is to choose to serve and help rather than to take and covet. One makes life meaningful, the other one makes it boring and dragging. And then, of course, the most important choice to make is to choose the Lord Christ, Whom we shall serve and worship. For out of it comes all the other right choices in life.
Print ed: 10/12