The Choice is Yours

In Engage by Dieter Randolph

Have you ever been so frustrated by your options that you decided not to do anything at all?  I’ve been through that experience a few times in my life, and it never went well. You can imagine why this might be, of course.  For one thing, stagnation is an illusion.  Our true identity has to do with growth and motion, and any attempt to fight our nature by holding still is going to result in frustration.  The dam always breaks after a while.

Besides, nobody can choose not to choose. That’s still a decision, and, as with politics, not voting is just voting for the majority. If the general trend of your thoughts and feelings is negative, it might be time to cast a different ballot.  It is always better to be intentional.  There is nothing accidental about the universe, and mirroring that general truth in our individual lives is the key to happiness.

Some folks might say that going with the flow is a matter of staying quiet. It is wonderful to be open and receptive. Leaving room for God to have a better idea is vital. But letting that idea stop with you is downright disrespectful. Life, the universe, and everything has to do with deliberate motion. Careless stagnation is counterproductive.

Let me try that again. Going with the flow requires going. So where will you go? There is something for you to say, do, prove that nobody else can. We stay open so that we can get a sense of what that special something is, and then we clarify it by working it out.

Time to hit the gym, then. If you’re still reading this, you have a rough idea of what you want to do. There is a calling in your heart, and you feel it when you get still and quiet, in moments of joy or even frustration. The calling is calling. No more waiting for more, and no more fear that your offering to the world isn’t perfect enough to act on.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

– from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem

Perfection isn’t a destination, it’s a road. Clarity comes through intention and action, not by knowing everything. That is God’s job, after all.

We’ve talked about this before. Some folks won’t tell the world what they believe in or who they are. Maybe they think they are being open and inclusive. But that decision is closed and exclusive; it’s a wall. It’s time to tell your story.

I think this is part of what Charles Fillmore was talking about when he wrote “A statement setting forth the teaching of a religious institution is essential, but compelling clauses should be omitted” (12 Powers of Man). That’s the balance. Of course it’s important to be able to stand up and share your beliefs with the world. Of course we in Unity have an obligation to make a clear and specific statement of our faith. But we can’t tell other folks that they’re wrong if they don’t agree with us. That’s the “compelling” part that we ought to leave out.

(Go Google the difference between doctrine and dogma. I’ll wait.)

When you go to a restaurant, you’re not surprised to see a menu. In fact, it would be strange if the waiter told you that the notion of sharing it was somehow a bad thing. And if he said they respect every cuisine and so any order you gave would be fulfilled, you’d be right to check Yelp for better options. If the waiter also informed you that by going to a different restaurant you were morally wrong, it would be time to ask for the check, too.

We cast a ballot with every thought, word, and action. Some people don’t want to vote because they don’t feel that their opinion is worthwhile. Hogwash. Some people don’t like any of their options, so they try to abstain. But life doesn’t work that way.

Let’s start where we are. In this moment, maybe none of the choices you have is a perfect match with your ideas about how life is supposed to unfold. The good news is that your concept of the future isn’t especially valid. You’re not there yet. That’s God’s job.

Your job is NOW. Who are you in this moment? What is your calling? What do you stand for, right now? Of course it will change and grow as you do, but that evolution cannot happen unless and until you speak your truth.

You have the God given ability and the sacred responsibility to tell your story, to take a stand. No more hiding, and no more waiting. You have something that the world wants.