The Wonderful World of Soup~

Soup is an endless sea of wonder, just like the many things I choose to write about. My thoughts explore Writing, World to National Events, Family Catastrophes (past and present) or whatever seems to get me thinking while sipping hot soup, tea, cider or a cold Pepsi...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lighning Bolt Decisions

(AKA) How to Make the Right Choice In Life

By Stephany Mae Robinson
In a perfect world, life is easy. There is never any conflict. We have the most amazing friends and family??? Well, where do you think all of these great character traits and skills come from? Our families and marriages are simply impeccable. I jump at the chance to introduce my new friends, coworkers and random strangers to my parents, my siblings and even my cousin, Eddie...
To all who know me well, your concern began at the word family. Just like the rest of the world (minus the Romneys), my family is most certainly not perfect. But it's supposed to be that way; I get that. Why the sudden emphasis on my dysfunctional family? I assure you, I have taken this path for a reason: 
I must tell you that one of my favorite life lessons has recently jumped out of its storage bin and bit me on the nose again.
Life is Conflict, which is to say, that we are faced with challenges daily. Often time, the challenges are huge, but most of them are trivial. We face challenges within ourselves, in our relationships and certainly with our families. It makes me think of the great line from Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (sorry for those who feel this is a trendy movie for groupies).
As Katniss finds herself alone, scared and fighting for her life in the arena of death, she proceeds to shoot one of her allies. He responds, "Remember who the real enemies are!" It was in that moment, that she chose to enter the final stage of the climax. Prior to this, her choices were simple: kill her new ally or shoot a lightning charged arrow at the dome. But this is just the outer conflict. She must also choose to trust someone or not trust anyone and assume they all wish her dead. Imagine how the story would have ended if she made the wrong choice.
For those who know and love the story, she chooses to fry the dome instead of her new friend. Her choice breaks down the whole system and the corrupt world she is forced to live in, both in the literal and metaphorical sense.
Now back to reality. This presents two questions...1. How do we know if we are making the right choice? 2. Who is the real enemy?
Question 1-Which is the right choice? I like to pray, of course, but I also know that I am human and screw up on a regular basis. It would be an understatment to say that it's in my nature (have you met my mother?) I also admit that sometimes I'm not in tune with the Spirit like I should be. Life is hectic. I don't read my scriptures and stop to listen when I should. In other words, I don't trust my own judgment. So, I do my best to get back on track and then I use one more gage. I ponder (another crucial part of prayer) and search the choice out in my heart and mind. This is done when I determine which choice is the more difficult of the two. In my experience, the more challenging choice is usually the right one.
For example, I did not want to be a teacher for a time. I ran like an escaped convict when I saw the first open door. I missed my old life, the one where I did not worry about 100 children on top of the 4 I already had. I did not waste anytime praying over the matter, I just knew what I wanted. I also knew life was easier before I was a teacher. I had to go through several difficult detours after that bad choice before I found myself wishing I was back teaching again. Which taught me another thing. God often provides a way back to the path. Just like before, when I knew where I was supposed to be, the return path lit up and happened quickly. It was like someone above planned for my exit and re-entry. In this case, I see the fruits of my labor almost daily. Though it is a difficult sacrifice which I still find myself loathing, I have a passion for teaching. When I no longer feel that drive, the compassion and a fire for teaching, I must choose to let it go.
For now, I am blessed and honored to teach. (I'm back at the same school, but feel more resolve.) In my present position, my family still is the center of my life. I'm lucky to have a boss who supports that. I rarely get dinner on the table at 6 pm each night and the laundry often sits in its baskets, but we laugh, spend time together and enjoy each other's company. We are a family. A new favorite activity is sorting/folding laundry together during an episode of Duck Dynasty. I cherish such nights. 
Question 2- Who is the real enemy? This should be something we think about whenever we encounter a difficult decision. The father of all lies, Lucifer, Satan or Diablo, has goals very different than our own. His aim is to make us feel alone and tear us from the things that he fears most, the family and love. Life is not meant to live alone. Just like Katniss in the arena, we need each other. While it may seem difficult to keep up relationships and strive to find love and peace in our homes, this is the greatest battle we will ever fight. We must accept that it is a battle, for that is what the enemy has determined it to be. We arm ourselves daily with prayer, forgiveness, compassion and trust. It will be a struggle if this is not in our nature for a time, but then these skills will become easier. We will rely on them.
Don't listen to the lies of the adversary or from society. A strong family is more important than anything, even fame, money and a career. It will get easier and we will feel a peace and joy like no other. After great effort on our part and some patience, the fruits of our labors will be evident. 
Final summation- Remember, life is conflict and it is that way for a reason. We are not supposed to be floating down a lazy river when it comes to our families and relationships. Work hard at work, but save your true patience and best work for those you truly LOVE. After you have searched, pondered and prayed, go with those difficult choices. The outcome may surprise you, like a bolt of lightning on a clear, summer day.