It's the beginning of a new year … and as we all do, I've been reflecting on the "old" one (year, I mean, not me). 2010 was a year of joy, sorrow, love, and blessings. I'm blessed with family and friends that I love dearly and who love me. I'm privileged to be studying for the vocation to which God has called me (even if I have a "love/hate" relationship with graduate school, it is always a privilege). I lost a dear friend and spiritual mentor. I continue to live with the loss of my mother and husband in recent years. God has answered my prayers, sometimes the way I wanted and sometimes not, but in all cases I can see that it was always the best answer for me.
And, of course all of this reflecting leads to reflecting on life in general … and the one word that keeps coming to my mind is "choices".
In his book, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis says something that has really stuck with me:
"[E]very time you make a choice you are turning into the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state of the other."
There are many events in our lives, both good and bad, that we don't choose but the choice we can make is how we react to and deal with those events. We can choose to see the negative or the positive. Even if sometimes the positive isn't readily visible, we can trust in faith that God sees a bigger picture that we can't always see and we can trust that His vision is better than ours. We can make the choice that no matter what happens, to live a life in harmony with God, with others, and with ourselves and to choose those actions and attitudes which enable such harmony.
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think this is easy or something you decide to do like a New Year's Resolution. It's a choice we make each and every moment, sometimes consciously sometimes unconsciously, with each and every thing we do, say, think, and feel. It's intentional. The more we consciously choose harmony, the more we'll choose it unconsciously. It will become part of who we are becoming.
I wish each of you God's peace in 2011!