Thursday, March 19, 2015

Deliberate decisions and responsibility

Pardon me if this is a bit of a ramble, but I need to get my thoughts out where I can go over them later. Not having a laptop has seriously limited my abilities since July, but a new machine has re-opened the door for late-night trips to whatever coffee shop will have me.

There's no sense in leaving life up to chance.

Tonight's topic is semantics, more or less. Over the last few months, I've noticed myself referring to my past as "full of mistakes." And that's true, in part. I have made plenty of mistakes. I've gone into plenty of things with good intentions, only to have them come off the rails.

My problem with such thinking is that it takes blame for wrongdoing from my shoulders and puts it on chance. I tried to do the right thing, but simply got caught up.

But I think that's wrong. And I think that's poisonous.

Sure, I've made mistakes. But more often than not, they're not "mistakes." They're decisions. Bad decisions. Deliberately choosing the sinful option isn't a mistake, it's a conscious direction.

It's really interesting to watch kids disobey their parents and feign innocence. I remember doing it in elementary school, and pretending to have not understood the playground rules. If I claimed I was ignorant of the rule, I could get out of the punishment, right?

While that might have worked as a fourth grader in terms of actual consequences, but I'd bet money the playground attendant knew exactly what was going on. I was a handful not worth their time to deal with.

It's easy to scoff at the 10-year-old me now that I'm older, but it's also a little frustrating to realize I haven't broken the habit with age.

The "mistake" vs. decision confusion is the same years later  -- claiming you were misinformed or misguided, instead of admitting to having chosen to do the wrong thing with the full knowledge of what you were doing.

I can't help but wonder if my lack of responsibility for my actions has led to my inability to deal with and let go of things. That's been an issue of mine for as long as I can remember, dating back to that girl in high school or someone -- and I actually thought of this today -- telling me during my senior year that my shirt was too small.

Those things still rest on my mind from time to time. I'm not saying everything negative in my entire life is because of decisions I've made, but learning to take responsibility for the things I have done might allow me to figure out how to let go of hurtful things in my past.

Everybody makes mistakes. We're not perfect beings, and that seems to simply be part of life. BUT that doesn't absolve us -- absolve me -- of responsibility for the choices I make.

Maybe I just need to slow down a little bit. Maybe I just need to listen a little bit more. Maybe I just need to heed the things I hear when I listen. Maybe God has been laying the groundwork for a new way of thinking over the last few weeks with this continued theme.

Whatever happens going forward, I'm glad to be back on the blogging wagon.

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