Though our relationships affect us all profoundly few of us are aware of how much they do. We easily turn to a consumer mindset, a more functional side of life and our face to face connections get given very little of our time. We may say our relationships are important, but in reality, if we realise where our priorities are, we soon see what we really believe.
If we could go into a supermarket of life experiences which would we choose? None of us has limitless choice, so what we decide to put in our trolley is very important. In these choices our beliefs become evident. Are we, for example, reacting to something and choosing the antithesis of what’s expected? Are we deciding in compliance with our life experience? Are we copying what others choose, or fighting against current thought?
As we reflect on what we’ve been through, and how it affected us, it may surprise us to see that our belief system is actually controlling us and that we aren’t choosing freely. We can come to understand how our experiences may have hurt us and profoundly changed the way we decide. We may feel “That’s what I know. That’s how it’s meant to be.” but that means we are letting our past define us and are being deadened by repetition. If we reflect on which choices have ended up being life-giving and which have been a recycling of the old, we’ll be able to make better choices in the future.
All of us have an inner agenda which shapes our belief of what we want to see happen. Usually we sustain and justify this framework with little questioning. We may notice that we’ve taken on our parents’ agenda and have never thought to question or examine it. Our feelings around a choice have become normative and as we simply affirm these we become stuck. We all know of people who even justify perpetuating heartless actions or those who bolster the same status quo as they did 20 years before. God says, “Choose life” and He wants us willing to be open and sensitive to His leading in the now, not according to a stuck record from the past, where we simply replay a familiar yet predictable tune.