Change begins with choice


“Ida and David both wanted all their sons to graduate from college, and they knew their boys would have to pay their way since David never made more than $150 a month.

Still, they encouraged their sons to achieve all they could. Arthur, however, went directly from high school to a job. Edgar began studying law. When Dwight graduated, he didn’t have a goal in mind, so he and Ed made a pact: Dwight would work two years while Ed studied, sending Ed as much as he could, and then they would reverse the arrangement. While working, Dwight found an opportunity that appealed to him more than college – West Point.

Dwight’s decision crushed both Ida and David. Ida did not like soldiering. Still, all she ever said to him was, “It is your choice.” David also remained silent, allowing his adult son total freedom to forge his future.

Yes, Ida and David wisely held their tongues – but they never withheld their applause, especially on the day their son, General Dwight Eisenhower, became President of the United States of America.”

A great story, isn’t it? Entitled “Hold Your Tongue,” From God’s Little Devotional Book tells us the importance of choice.

One of my favorite authors and speakers of the years passed, Jim Rohn says the same thing. Listen to what this motivational speaker has to say about choices.

“Any day we wish, we can discipline ourselves to make essential changes in our lives.

Any day we want to, we can open the book that will open our mind to new knowledge.

Any day we wish, we can start a recent activity. Any day we want to, we can begin the process of life change. We can do it immediately, next week, next month, or next year.

We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labor, entertainment over education, delusion over truth, and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. But while we curse the effect, we continue to nourish the cause. As Shakespeare uniquely observed, ‘The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves.’ We created our circumstances by our past choices, and we have both the ability and the responsibility to make better choices beginning today. Those searching for the good life do not need more answers or more time to think things over to reach better conclusions. They need the truth, the whole truth. And they need nothing but the truth.

We cannot allow our errors in judgment, repeated every day, to lead us down the wrong path. We must keep coming back to those basics that make the biggest difference in how our life works out. And then, we must make the very choices that will bring life, happiness, and joy into our daily lives.”

Jim continues saying: “And if I may be so bold to offer my last piece of advice for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life – If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree, and you have the ability to transform every area in your life totally – and it all begins with your very own power of choice.”

You know what? Jim is right. Not making a choice is likewise a choice in itself, and this is why we should make sure we make the right choices.

What are the right choices? We can choose faithfulness over the betrayal. One builds the family; the other one destroys it. We can choose to serve and help rather than to take and covet. One makes life meaningful the other one makes it perpetually frustrating and empty. We can choose to be miserable through the challenges we face through this pandemic or decide to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, infuse encouragement, and be strong for them. Knowing that this will pass but being mindful of the present and doing the right things would benefit the future we are entering. We can choose the things of God over the things of this world. One is eternal and the other one is temporal.

The choice is always ours to make, and we can change. Because as Jim says, we are not a tree. The last time I checked, he was right.



(Francis Kong’s podcast “Inspiring Excellence” is now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or other podcast streaming platforms.)

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