Choosing Consequences

It is said that we can choose our behaviors but not our consequences.  On many if not most fronts this is true.  In a real way, the only thing we can control is our behavior.  Try as we might, we cannot dictate the acts of others, and we do not order all the events of our lives.  Life is what we make it and how we take it.  It is little wonder that people often feel out of control in living, and this may be one reason our polluted world places feelings above facts in public discourse.  Certain will throw up their hands and declare life a vain pursuit signifying nothing while the less cynical continue striving against the house.  Thoughtful approaches mingle with the frivolous in the struggle to understand why our deeds do not necessarily determine the outcomes in our existences.

The best and most complete answer to the dilemma lies in man’s fall from grace.  The world we live in is not the world meant for us.  Adam and Eve feared no harm under God’s protective hand in the Garden.  However, their misguided quest for freedom and meaning brought them neither, and they unleashed ravishment on themselves and all their progeny.  This living death passed to all their descendants, even those who did not sin in the same way.  The catastrophe extended from the loss of God’s presence and protection to increasing unfriendliness of the natural world and the gradual weakening of the gene pool (of all creation).  Such weakness is progressive and produces mental and physical disorders and desires.  People are born with deformities and diseases though such was not God’s intent.

A related (and more satisfactory) solution to the undefined is the answer of faith.  The substance of things hoped for means nothing to the carnal mind but lends confidence to the initiate.  The child of God is able to say there are undiscovered answers to the unknown and not be troubled by the thought.  There is no restlessness in commitment to God, and such commitment is not unreasonable or unintelligent.  It is more a matter of placement of faith and not whether or not faith exists.  The believer in Christ can grasp the known; understand that misfortunes are a product of separation from God and rest in trust that the perplexing problems of life have purposes in the divine plan though such may never be completely understood.  Faith and reason combine in the thinking of the spiritually-minded.

Whatever betide, I can choose my behaviors and reactions.  Though time and chance intervene and circumvent my cause, I am not forced to be hasty or indelicate.  I can always act according to plan whether or not it seems natural at the time.  While it is not necessarily true that correct methods bring desirable consequences, it is more likely to be true that people who respond well will be treated respectfully.  Imperfection spoils all efforts and outcomes, but such does not make the industrious worker weary in well-doing.  Love is mingled with grief in this life, and one does not cancel the other though each is abated.  While pride may say I should not expend myself for less than my complete desires, experience teaches me that propriety in my actions will go far in facilitating my wants and is my only real recourse.

The biblical principle of sowing and reaping will out.  Scripture tells us God cannot be mocked.  By this, we understand that every action will receive its appropriate recompense at some point.  It is not easy to understand that lifetimes may pass before payday, but, in the mind of God, time is not a great concern.  Justice is more His see though none of His actions are delayed.  If I understand that I do not control all eventualities, contemplate the effects of sinfulness and have faith that God is in control, I will be free to act in accordance with my understanding of His directives to me.  If God truly does reward and recompense every action and word, the work and deeds of my life really do matter regardless of temporal recognition.  With this thought as my guide, I can choose my consequences.

Sterl  

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