Choices……It seems to me, that before I got serious about recovery that my life was characterized by choices between unacceptable alternatives. I frequently felt like I just did not have good choices.
When I began working seriously on my recovery within a program, it seems to me my life was characterized by having to choose between acceptable and unacceptable choices. At tremendous cost to myself, I frequently chose the unacceptable alternative.
After 21 years in recovery, I find I am frequently being asked to choose between really wonderful alternatives. So many times, I have more wonderful things to do than I can possibly do. That can make life exciting, but if I misinterpret what is happening I can become very unhappy.
Having too many good choices has sometimes created problems for me. I needed to learn something important about my Higher Power. Let me illustrate.
When I was in my early twenties, a good friend offered to give me his library. He had been a minister for many years and had accumulated about five thousand very wonderful books. Now he was retiring.
I had to turn down his offer. I had no place to put a library and I had no money to store the books.
Now suppose I had accepted the books, then bought bookshelves, set the shelves up in a beautiful room and arranged the books systematically. Then I would have a great library at my disposal.
However, suppose I thought I had to read all the books beginning at the top shelf at the extreme left and working through all the books on all the shelves. I would have to labor for years to get all the books read. If that was my idea, then the gift of the library would turn out to be a very heavy burden.
What is the alternative? I could look over the books and from time to time, pick out one or two volumes that looked like fun to read. I could also use the books to look up things I wanted to know. Maybe I could share some of the books with my friends. I might give a loved one, one of the books I felt she would enjoy.
Used with freedom the library would be a source of joy. However, if I treated the books legalistically, they would seriously detract from my joy in living.
I find that God likes to give me choices as I pursue his will. He frequently makes four of five suggestions of things to do and wants me to choose the one I like best. Whichever activity I choose to do, becomes his will for me.
When God gives me the freedom to choose from several of his great ideas, I feel a deep respect from him. It makes me feel God trusts my decisions and wants to include my thinking in his will for my life.
In addition, When God wants me to choose from among good alternatives, I have a chance to learn about the rich abundance of living from a spiritual base. To often, I have lived a life dominated by deprivation thinking.
If I feel like I have to do everything God suggests, doing God’s will becomes a tedious and wearisome burden. I get overextended and bitter. If I go with the idea that appeals to me most, life is challenging and thrilling.