JOURNAL: There is a saying that goes like this: “Just because you can…doesn’t mean you should.” This short sentence contains great truth if we care to look for it. To me, it makes me think of things like, “Stop and think,” “Proceed with caution,” “Possible curves ahead,” “Look before you leap,” or even "Dead end!" These are all good sayings that contain wisdom and are smart ways to think as you approach big life decisions.
You see, the choices that we make in life really matter and we need to live like we know that truth and the sooner the better. To live and not realize this as truth is careless and dangerous for us and for everyone around us. Without this knowledge, we are like a blindfolded person throwing daggers at imaginary carnival balloons and hoping that no one will get hurt. We just “hope” for the best but in reality, someone is bound to get cut up or worse…stuck along the way.
Here is a quick “real life” example for you. My mom got divorced from my dad when I was one and my brother and sister were eight and nine. We lived in North Carolina where almost all of my extended family was. My grandparents, most of my aunts and uncles and tons of cousins all lived there. When my mom divorced, she moved us all 3000 miles away to southern California. Not only did it take us away from my dad but all the rest of my family and what had been “normal” to us up to that point in our lives.
I did not see my dad again until I was twelve. The next time was in my early twenties when I was there for my grandmother’s funeral. Then I saw him twice in my thirties, once when I went back to North Carolina with my brother and sister for a week and once when he flew here for a few days. The last time I saw him was in 2008 when I went back with my wife and my brother for a visit. And though I try to keep a relationship with my dad now by using Skype, the truth is…I really don’t know my dad very well. I don’t know most of my cousins and some of them I have only met once at my grandmother’s funeral. All of those things are consequences of my mom’s decision to move us so far away.
I do not know what my life would have been like had we stayed in North Carolina. Maybe it would have been better…maybe not. I do know it would have been different and for sure I would have had the most awesome southern accent. All I know for sure is MY life and the lives of my brother and sister were altered forever by my mom’s decision.
Big, life changing decisions should never be made on the fly, under duress or while emotional but rather slowly with time, consideration and input from people we love and trust. Not people that will just tell us what we want to hear but people we know will tell us the truth, even if it is not what we want to hear. People that only tell us what we want to hear are not really our friends but actually people who may be too afraid of losing our friendship or perhaps are just using us and/or are just along for the ride. Fair weather friends are not really friends. When hard times hit, when your world is falling apart…that is when you find out who your real friends are and who they are not. That can be very surprising at times.
Real friends, those who really love us, care about our best interest, not just now but down the road. They are willing to do whatever it takes and will tell us hard truth in love to keep us from making a huge mistake, no matter how mad we get at them. Often they and others can see the cliff or the wall coming when we cannot. We can have huge blind spots that we know nothing of and a bigger perspective is invaluable before changing everything.
This kind of approach can possibly save us from having buyer’s remorse with our decisions later when we can do nothing about it and all the damage has been done. It is simply a matter of truly considering the cost before a decision is made instead of jumping in and hoping for the best later.
This world is a tricky and unforgiving place at times. Some decisions once made cannot be taken back, repaired or made right ever again and change things for not just us but for many people around us. Some decisions are simply…forever. We pay a price for everything we do and we need to make sure we get a good deal in the end…that what we choose is really worth it.
The hard truth is that not everything that looks good in this life is in reality…good. It may be good for the moment or the minute or the day or for a season but in the end, it may cost you way more than you ever imagined possible.
Sometimes when it is all over and we finally see what is behind the curtain, we realize that what we were chasing was more illusion, hype and infatuation than real. It is then we will realize that it was the simplest things in life that meant the most after all and that we already had everything we ever really needed before we messed it all up. In the end we realize it was the simple things we left behind that really made us rich beyond measure.
Father, as You know, I have made some tremendously bad decisions in my life that have hurt many along with myself. I have been inward looking only seeing my selfish wants and needs and for that, You know I am sorry. Help me to do better, help me to always see clearly and change me from the inside out. Help me not to be taken over by “my…me…mine” and instead let me offer those kind of thoughts to You on the alter as a sacrifice to You. Please take them and replace them with Your love and mercy and please give me eyes to see people how You see them. Please continue to mold and make me into something beautiful, pleasing and useful in Your eyes. Write my life in a way that others would want to read it and would find hope and victory in the finished story. Thank You in advance Great Lover of my soul.
David L. Wood 1/8/2015 ©
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Proverbs 3:13-18 (NIV)
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.