“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within...”
Romans 12:2

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Hilary's Desk

A Blessing or a "Curse"?

Hilary Butler - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

By Peter Butler.  Here is the follow up to “VOICES AND CHOICES”.

I make no apology for returning to a topic which I believe is absolutely crucial in everybody’s lifestyle.

Most of us would agree that the ability to exercise freedom of choice is a fundamental human right. It plays a big part in our uniqueness (See “Facts many People Prefer to Ignore”) but it is also something we take for granted. If freedom of choice is taken away from us, what takes it’s place? Compulsion and controls. Somebody, or some system, tells us what we must do, how we must think and even what we can say or not say. When we lose choice, we are in big trouble.

 

But hang on a minute.

Very often we allow this to happen by default.

Especially in many every day “little” things. We let other people make decisions for us because to do it for ourselves is too much like hard work; the thinking processes required seem far too complicated, or we are just plain indifferent.

Most of us know only too well that the more choice available to us, the more difficult it can be to make a choice! Ever reached screaming pitch trying to decide on a colour to use to paint something, and you’re confronted by hundreds of different colour samples?!

There are times however, when choice is critical.

·         When do you turn off the life-support to a loved one?

·         Do you agree to injecting a “foreign” substance into a newborn baby?

·         Are you prepared to accept someone else’s word for the “truth” when, if pushed, they may admit that they cannot guarantee the results?

·         Will you question the “expert”?

The everyday reality is that along with the requirement to exercise CHOICE continuously there are the VOICES, which consciously or unconsciously, will be influencing our decisions.

As part of “The Great Divide”, on page 339, I mention that there are ways by which what should be clear-cut, firm choices of conviction, can be dodged and modified. For example we can make choices of convenience, choices involving compromise, choices involving capitulation, choices which make us uncomfortable, and worry our consciences. Deep down we have a gut feeling that they are faulty choices and we will regret them. We have been persuaded by wrong voices, and as a result we’re not being true to ourselves.

In our book “From One Prick to Another” chapter 88 is optional reading. A choice has to be made – a choice which may be determined by curiosity!! Reference is made to chapter 79 in “Just a Little Prick” entitled: “A Different Perspective”, which strange as it may sound, also talks about choices!

Everywhere we turn we cannot escape the ramifications of making choices. Those sticky nagging questions are never far away:

“How do I make the right choice?”

“Which voices do I listen to?”

In the end, no matter how much we procrastinate, we either act on our own convictions and commitment, or we hand over the decision-making to someone else.

At this point I would like to suggest you read “A FAITH FULL INVITATION” because the crunch issue is dealt with here.

That “ingredient” is essential.

You can define it in whatever way you choose – you don’t have to listen to my voice – but it has to provide a solid foundation to support you no matter what happens.

Is there some sort of “magic” formula to solve all the different situations and circumstances people find themselves in?

No, there is not.

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