I read a wonderful post from a friend of mine yesterday, a friend whose blog I occasionally refer to in my own posts, because she is so thoughtful and insightful, and has found her way as a mother, pastor, runner, and in many other roles as well. Her post and her choices provoked some pondering about finding my way. It also led to the question, “Whose way is it, anyway?”
We all make choices about the life we will lead, the way we will follow. We choose the way we believe is best for ourselves and our loved ones. We endeavor to follow the way we’ve chosen to the best of our abilities, and to make our lives meaningful; to make a difference.
And we face the struggles and ridicule that often come with our choices. We face the screams of those that are infuriated by the choices we’ve made and those who wish to force us to follow their way. We face the insensitivity of those who have no idea how we arrived at the choices we made, and don’t care.
But then there are those who respect our choices; those who take the time to understand how we arrived at those decisions, and why we follow the way we’ve chosen. There are those who take the time to understand and then ask only to be understood as to why their choices may differ from ours. They are the ones who help to calm the discourse, the ones who add patience and thoughtfulness to the exchange of ideas, and the ones who temper the shrill and strident nature of today’s culture and conversation. I appreciate those people; I hope I’m one of them.
I’m a Christian. As one, I’m called to make disciples for Christ. It doesn’t mean I level withering diatribes against atheists. I try to understand why they choose that way over mine.
I’m a conservative. That means I believe in a limited government that provides for the common defense, protects the liberties we’ve been given rather than limiting them, takes care of those who can’t take care of themselves, and sets some reasonable rules so those who can take care of themselves play nice with others. I’m happy, within reason, to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, provided Caesar is not trying to redistribute what I’ve earned to someone who chooses not to make the effort. I try to understand the differences between my point of view and that of people with liberal or progressive views, and why they choose to believe as they do. It doesn’t mean that I criticize them for their choices; they are entitled to them just as I am entitled to mine.
Hey, I’m a Spartan fan too; I bleed green, no disrespect to our Vulcan friend Mr. Spock. But I don’t rag on my Wolverine friends who bleed blue (or is it yellow)! It’s my choice; no one else’s. Not that it isn’t tempting to engage in a little trash talk with my niece’s husband on occasion; all in good fun of course!
The point is, the way I’ve chosen is my way, not someone else’s way. I hope the way I’ve chosen is based on dignity and respect for others, common sense (to me at least), my experiences and the opportunities I see to use the gifts and talents with which I’ve been endowed. But it is my way, not someone else’s, and I have the right to follow it within the ethical, moral and legal boundaries that protect us all.
Finding my way, one choice at a time…