Monday, 28 March 2011

Our Daily Choices

Gregory of Nyssa, writing of the power of our daily choices to form us into the persons we become, states: "We are, in a sense, our own parents.”  Fr Aelfred Squire comments on this line: “There are indeed few who will not recognise the justice of believing that, when allowance is made for the obscurities in which we have to work out our salvation, we never become what in fact we do become, unless deep down in ourselves, we have chosen and desired it, and gone on doing so for a lifetime... From the cradle to the grave we are, either consciously or unconsciously, involved in activity, whether that activity is externally manifested or not. It is in our activity that we are all the time becoming what, at any given moment, we are.”

“No one makes a fool of God! A person reaps only what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7). If that is the case, it is an indispensable practice to reflect regularly on what I am sowing day by day. It is a sobering but true thought that I am as close to God as I choose to be. God’s love for us does not waver. But the extent to which that love enters and impacts on our lives depends on our free choices. Respecting the liberty He gave us the gracious Lover does not force His love upon us.

I am constantly making choices as I live my life  - choosing how I spend my time and money, how I relate to people, choosing to pray or not, to forgive or not,  to be generous or not, etc, etc. Often these choices are made without much reflection.  So during this time of Lent I am especially asked to consider the power of these personal choices to form the person I am becoming.  It is true - in a very real sense I am my own parent!