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I was slow to learn the value of Choice Activated Living. I lived – ironically, by choice – in the Land of Indecision. My struggle was two-pronged: First, decision making for me was complex; ergo, a complicated process. It included the desire to please all the significant people in my life with one choice. (I resisted the obvious: one choice rarely suits all.) And I complicated the complex by wanting to leave my options open (delay making a decision) in case a wonderful opportunity came my way last minute. So….

Options Left Open Just Left Me Gropin…
Taking up residence in the Land of Indecision proved to be a type of self-imprisonment. Fear of not pleasing everyone gobbled up my initiative and I was equally hobbled by the fear of missing some hoped for fun if I locked in a decision prematurely.

Lesson long spurned – but a lesson He insisted I learned: Living by Choice increases life’s joys – Living by Chance and Happenstance decreases life’s joys.

Embracing Choice Activated Living for my Self (for my mind, will and emotions)
Choosing to express goodwill towards others seemed to be instinctive to me. But I had to choose to become intentional about showing goodwill toward myself. I was often ruled from within by my “Get it done to prove your worth” mandate. How good it is to embrace the “Be good to yourself” challenge …even though the phrase doesn’t seem to fit comfortably under “Rules for Proper Christian Conduct”.

The Father’s Lovesong to us is “You are My beloved children.” And He is the Father Who loves well; loves unconditionally; even as we lurch uncertainly (and usually very slowly) into living from this Perspective. Only in knowing we are loved by Father God are we able to:

“…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as (you love) yourself.” Matthew 22:37-40

Unless we know we’re loved by God, we love ourselves and others poorly. The road of life is strewn with the remains of love accidents. Prime perceived cause: failing to be loving unless we feel loved. And failing in love can be an accident with long lasting injuries. There is so much speeding into relationship in hopes of being loved or being the answer to someone else’s need for love. Underlying foundational cause: Neglecting to have goodwill toward ourselves…loving ourselves in godly ways so that we able to love others well.

Becoming Kindling
As “kind ones”, acting out of the choice to be an agent of good will/God’s will, we become kindling, set aflame by the His passionate love and our choices. Then we set afire the dry places in others with our deliberate acts of kindness…so hope can begin to emerge from dying embers of life gone awry instead of staying aflame with Divine Hope.

But what if you (as I did) have neglected to keep embers of goodwill toward yourself alive within you? Well, I found out. His passion and my choice were more than enough to spark fresh flames of renewed hope in who I am BECAUSE OF WHO HE IS in me. My pilot light just needed a re-light from Above. Maybe yours does too?

His desire is to transform our practice/discipline of showing love into the REAL DEAL: Being His Love to others. And oh how basic is our need to be loved. And Being LOVE, He is able to transform our negative choices as well as our bungled tries into mulch for our future…

Mulch – decayed material used to enrich soil

Interesting thought: The mulch – mistakes and misgivings of our lives – enrich the soil of our hearts, giving us greater capacity to love organically (without additives/agenda). And hence we become love fertilizer in the hearts of others.

“I love your writing. You really have a way with zingers, but I think what really matters is the life wisdom you bring to the page. You say hard things, but you make them go down like warm apple pie.” David Kopp - executive editor, Multnomah Books

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