In today’s post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, pastor Freed used this quote – “My life is part roses, part thorns.” (Bret Michaels)
That’s a pretty simple thought and one that everyone can probably say about their own life. We all encounter adversities (thorns) in life and most of us can probably also point to beautiful moments (the roses) in our lives. A good number of us probably spent much of our lives focused upon doing things to avoid the thorns – to reduce the risks that we may encounter. A few spend their lives so focused upon the good things in life that they may become classified as Pollyannas.
Things that happen in our lives are often the result of actions that we consciously took – what we reached for in life – and not just happenstance. It might seem like a decision that turned our bad was made without thought, but that is seldom really the case. That decision may have been made out of a lack of concern for the consequences or perhaps was made based upon pre-conceived notions or prejudices; but there was some thought put into it, albeit not good thoughts.
You can take control of your life if you start by understanding that you will encounter thorns. These are usually things that you cannot control. All that you can control is how you react to them. If you reach out and grab the thorns they will hurt you. If you are cautious and careful you may be able to get through the situation without pain and maybe even be able to find the rose at the end of that thorny stem.
That is why it is so much better to stop and think about what you are about to do than to stop later and ask why you just did that. There are no take-backs in life, no do-overs; but there can be, “Wait, What, Why”, moments that can save you embarrassment or worse later.
Stopping to think about something before you react does not mean becoming paralyzed by indecision. Self-control is just a part of good decision making. Recognizing the risks and possible outcomes is another part. The final part is applying the moral compass that otherwise guides your life to the situation at hand. Hopefully that involves doing the right thing and not just the convenient or self-serving thing. That is where your faith comes into play. That is the WWJD input into your decisions.
All of this can take place in a split second. There are few real “no-brainer” moments in life; however there are many “I didn’t think” moments that we can all look back upon.
We get what we reach for. Think about it.