The Power of Making Choices

The greatest thing about this wonderfully borrowed life we lead is our ability to make choices.

We can make from it whatever it is that we want to.

If we want to live and stay in our comfort zones without pushing ourselves to grow, we can.

If we want to make our lives count, discover our purpose, and leave a lasting legacy, we can do that as well.

If we want to focus on every problem, every criticism, every offense that other people did to us, we can drag our way into living life waiting for our dreams and goals to happen. We can choose that.

If we want to focus on the things we have to do, the things we are called to do, the big-picture things that when we are on our deathbed will make us peacefully embrace the end, we can choose to do that also.

It’s the simplest, most basic thing in life: choosing. But at the same time, it’s also the most important.

The fact that we build our lives with each choice we make, and it numbers to around a thousand a day more or less, makes every moment incredibly important.

Life is about making choices. The choices we make today, even the little ones, especially the seemingly insignificant ones, will surely affect our future.

And if we are not careful, we may be painting a different picture from what we had in mind from the beginning.

Ever since I was a child, my greatest dream is to become a writer. Since I wrote my very first essay when I was nine years old, I knew deep in my being that this is what I have to do.

I didn’t know how to phrase it then, but now it’s clear to me, this is what I’m called to do.

I’ve been writing all my life. I’ve always had a handy notebook and a pen to write spontaneous thoughts.

Unlike other young people who spent time playing video games, chasing girls, and worrying about school grades, I spent all my free time writing – not to be famous or to be cool and different – but because I cannot can’t write.

It doesn’t matter even if I’m getting paid or not. It doesn’t matter if I get recognition or not. I write for the love of writing. It was ingrained in my soul, and I didn’t know it.

Reminiscing, I feel that everything, every moment, every extracurricular activity in school, every organization I joined, every favor I said yes to, every work I accepted, every person I’ve known – everything – led me to this moment when I would finally accept what God has been calling me to do all these years.

He created me to become a writer.

How did I know? How do I know that this is not just a hobby, or a passing midlife thrisis (midlife crisis of thirty somethings as one friend coined it), or procrastination of finding a new job?

I was recently reading this book called “The In-Between” by an up and coming writer named Jeff Goins.

Jeff mentioned there that he believes God is the one who calls us. And that most things from the divine, such as a calling, would be hard to describe.

We have the same belief. I also believe that it is God who calls. It may be hard for me to explain how I knew, but I simply do.

What I can say is that for a long time I’ve put it aside, never had faith in it. I’ve put it in sidewalks of my life because I cared too much about how people would see me.

I cared too much about what other people are saying: “There’s no money in writing.” “How do you expect to get rich and be successful in life through writing?” “Who do you think you are? Why do you think they’re ever going to read what you have to say?”

I was so concerned with what other people expect me to become that my ears remained deaf on what God is telling me.

But now I understand. Life is never all about money and success. That may follow. But with or without it, life is about obedience.

Sadly, not everyone finds their purpose, their calling.

The scary part is that it is easy to miss becoming what we were created to become.

That’s why I started this part talking about choices. Our calling is not something we are compelled to do. It is something we choose to do.

Distractions of this age may continuously try to divert us from hearing our God-given purpose and calling.

Like a steady drumbeat, it may persistently attempt to sidetrack us, but we can always choose to become more persistent and find focus to get back on track by simplifying our lives.

We can always choose to let go all of life’s excesses and focus only on the essentials – possessions, activities, beliefs, and relationships – to be able to follow our passion and purpose.

And if distractions come again, like they always do, we can choose to persevere even when it is difficult.

We simplify to be able to hear that still, small voice and not let the distractions of this world imprison our full attention for the rest of our lives.

We simplify to make our lives count. To be able to live the life that we were created for.

We are God’s masterpieces. He created us and called us for a specific purpose which He has already prepared in advance for us to do.

If you believe in your heart that your job or whatever it is that you’re doing now is your purpose, then, for the glory of God, keep on.

Do it excellently. Do it wholeheartedly. Do it mightily. Do it without complaints about pay or position… because it is what you were made to do. I say, congratulations, you’re on the right track!

But if you don’t, please don’t settle. We need you to discover your calling. The world needs you to fulfill your purpose. You are not an accident. Your life counts!

Note: This is an excerpt from my first self-published book “Simplify Life… and Make it Count,” which is available at Amazon and CreateSpace.

What can you say about your power of making choices? Share in the comments.