on choice

Yellow’s Allure

i am never able to resist yellow or purple flowers. each time i see them either on the side of the road or sprouting up through cracks in the sidewalk i feel compelled to stop and admire them. i am also a great admirer of sunrises and sunsets and changing fall leaves and sprouting buds on maple trees. truth is i am in love – always have been – with nature. once during a sermon i remember a minister saying that for every blade of grass there is an angel whispering, ‘grow.’

i chose to believe this ideal. i chose at that moment to surrender to the miracle that there is a guardian for every grass blade. some might call me fool. but what really have i lost in believing this. what harm have i committed to believe

a. there is a God
b. God creates
c. God cares for creation

you would think with all the nightmares i’ve listened to and lived through over the years that my heart would be harder. and in many ways it is. however, here is what i know for sure…on the morning after i received the call that a baby, 9 months old, was found dead lying next to her mother also dead after crying for 2 days straight and neighbors not responding to the cry but complaining instead about the nose the sun rose. this horrible ugly thing had happened. a child had died. her mother had died. a dual funeral was to be planned. and yet the sun rose. do i then scream at the sun, appalled that it would rise in the midst of this madness? do i demand that it go back into whatever region it came from and leave me and those around me in the darkness of our grief?

no. that would be insanity. instead, i chose to stand in the sun. i chose to bask in its light. to fill myself up on the beauty of its rising. i chose instead to thank it and to thank God who I believe created it.

i know that there are millions who believe differently. i don’t judge them. there was a time when i felt deep sympathy for agnostics and atheists. but now i leave that pity. we all believe what we need to believe in order to keep moving forward. we cause more problems than we solve when we attempt to shove our beliefs down another’s throat.

laurence fishbone’s character may be fictional, but he sends a very powerful message though times test us and tribulations embitter, ‘we are still here.’ i once wrote a poem, i will perhaps republish on this blog, entitled we, the cairn it is about my history as an african american. in the poem i use the recant ‘and we still here’.

regardless as to what you believe, if you are an optimist, a realist, a pessimist, or an i-haven’t-figured-it-out-yet in the morning you will rise. the sun will also rise. and you will have a choice to see it as beautiful, take it for granted, or ignore it. what you choose in that moment and in every moment that follows determines how your day will unfold.

this week the word is choice.

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