You may not get to choose what happens to you, but you have the powerful choice of how you respond to what happens. Life can either be a series of reactions or responses. Will you accept the invitation to dance?
These are two powerful little words.
Think about it. You may not get to choose what happens to you, but you have the powerful choice of how you respond to what happens. Life can either be a series of reactions or responses.
Reaction implies a defensive stance that holds one as a victim. But…the word response implies thought, choice, and power.
How am I choosing to respond to life? Am I a victim of its angry whims or unfortunate outcomes? Or is life really just a dance on the waves?
I once thought that a successful life was one where you walked on the water, like Peter, when he stepped out of the boat to walk towards Jesus. Wasn’t he successful so long as his feet didn’t sink? Was the goal in life not to sink?
Didn’t Jesus reprimand him when he sank, calling him a man of little faith?
But, I argue, he got out of the boat and he tried. How was that little faith?
It wasn’t…sort of.
I believe Jesus was actually revealing to him that his act was a step of faith and that his faith may be little now, but it would soon grow because his focus was in the right direction: looking at Him.
Oh, you of little faith…right now, Peter. But just wait. Keep taking steps of faith like that and you will move mountains with your faith.
Peter’s first choice was to get out of the boat. He responded to Jesus. He didn’t sit in the boat and come up with a million excuses why walking on water made no sense or how he could perish with the choice. He chose to think like Jesus.
Life will throw its waves at you, but I am learning that the goal is not walking on water (as opposed to sinking) but choosing to dance on the waves.
I choose to dance.
You see, there is a lot of pressure in trying to stay above water and not sink. Ultimately it can get pretty frustrating wondering what you ever did to deserve the waves in the first place. You can actually sink just parking at that question of why the wave is there to begin with.
Why me is not the right question. Why not me? Now you’re digging.
The waves make you stronger.
We are all invited out of the boat to walk on the water. But the truly miraculous question is what do you do now that you are walking on water?
Jesus invited all the disciples out of the boat into the supernatural realm of the kingdom just by modeling that it could be done. Only Peter responded.
We all can choose to respond.
The other disciples in the boat reacted to the storm by choosing to stay “safely” in the boat. They had a powerful choice but they missed the adventure.
We all choose. Every day we make choices. Maybe most of the choices we make are subconscious, but what if you really became aware of all the little responses you have the power to make? How would each of those responses or reactions shape your life?
Peter grew from no faith to little faith and he was on the path to even greater faith because he was choosing to walk with Jesus.
He weighed the cost and made a choice.
I choose…and so do you.
Think about it…
I choose to sit on the couch and watch a movie, or take a walk and breathe in the fresh air and sunshine and move my body.
I choose to react to my child in anger and shame him, or quiet myself and make this a teachable moment for us both.
I choose to jump down my husband’s throat when he doesn’t read my mind, yet again, or I maturely communicate my need to him and invite him to coffee on the porch for a few minutes of time together.
I choose to let someone else’s poor choices leave me wounded, or I can pick myself up and let them have their own issues and live my own life.
I choose to mope around because my life isn’t where I thought it would be at this time, or I pivot and focus on all I have to be grateful for which puts my mind in a creative space to find solutions.
I choose to scroll through Instagram posts for hours and waste those precious moments, or I can read a book and educate myself on something that will enrich my life and add value to the lives of others.
I choose to eat that piece of chocolate cake, or realize one slice at the birthday party was enough and it’s not really worth the extra calories.
I choose to spend money I don’t have and purchase on a credit card, or I can wait patiently and focus on saving and investing money now and enjoy my purchase, free and clear, down the road made with passive income.
I choose to give in to more screen time for my children, or I can invite them into an adventure at the park, on a nature walk, or reading a book on a picnic blanket with tea and scones or popcorn.
Life is a series of choices that we can either respond to or react to. Ultimately, I know many of us are tired, lonely, broke, bored, disillusioned, or frustrated, but we can also choose how we look at this life.
Life can either be lived “safely” in the boat, or striving to keep your footing while walking on the water, or it can be a dance on the waves. Unfortunately, life will send its waves, but each wave makes you stronger and each wave is just another invitation to dance.
I choose to dance. How about you?