Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chocolate or Vanilla

As it gets a little bit warmer outside, I cannot help but to reflect back to my childhood and all of the things that came along with the warm weather. The smell of the freshly cut grass, the sound of the birds chirping, and the sound of the musical jingle that every kid in America knew...the sound of the ice cream truck! You could almost hear it from miles away. Remember stopping whatever it was you were doing just to listen to hear if it really was the familiar jingle of the frozen wonders? I do. The world would stop for just a few seconds, kickball games stopped, freeze tag stopped, hide and seek stopped, and our ears perked up just to verify that sound. Remember what happened next? "ICE CREAM" someone shouted! Then there was a mad dash to our houses to beg our parents for money then back out to the curb to wait for the truck.

Then it pulled up and stopped. Our hearts raced from all of the excitement. We stood in the makeshift line of kids as we looked at the menu of treats on the side of the truck. When we were little, it seemed like the choices were endless. I, however, mostly got the same thing.


That was my favorite. Neat, clean, and to the point. I had tried others before the push up, but after many, many taste tests, I had settled on the gushy half melted when I got it push up pop.

These days, we live on a farm and don't have the neighborhood truck that drives around bringing frozen joy to children everywhere. Nope, not on the farm.

Today, we stand in the frozen food section at that big, buy everything at one place, box store, and deliberate for an hour what flavor that we can all agree on. Not quite the same. Fundamentally, we still stand and gaze until we make that decision, but still not the same.

As I look back a this wonderful event that happened at the beginning of every summer, I can't help but to notice that as an adult, I go through the same emotional process before I get to the point where I have to make a choice. Today, I don't get sooooo excited anymore, but I realize that the same thing happens every day of our lives.

You may have to bear with me here on this for a bit, but in my bean, it all makes sense.

I have come to realize that we cannot control what happens around us. I can't control the weather. I can't control the government. I can't control my neighbors. I can't control other drivers. I can't control gas prices. I can't really control much of anything except for one I react to whatever is put before me. I have the ability to CHOOSE how it, whatever it is, will affect ME. I'm not saying that I never get angry or upset, I do. But I have a choice whether or not to stay there.

I got into a rather long discussion with a friend of mine about this very subject. Maybe I am over simplifying things, but this is how "I" see it. Knowing that I have no control over anything but my ability to choose makes me go through life asking one question "God, what do YOU want me to do here?". This is where the discussion began. "Things aren't that simple", my friend says. I think they are.

I have been referred to as an eternal optimist. I look for the good in any situation. I don't think that that is the case at all. With most situations, I am simply presented with a choice as to how I will react. Do I go this way or that? If I decide to do this, how would the outcome affect me or someone around me? I have a choice. That is the one thing that God Himself doesn't even mess with. Your ability to choose. He even wants YOU to CHOOSE HIM! But you don't have to. It's up to you. In the bible it even says that the greatest gift is for those who CHOOSE to receive it. Eve even had a choice. So did Adam. So do you.

I have had a lot of hardships that I have endured in life. I have not always made the right choices. But on thing no one can argue with, is that they were MY choices. People have let me down, they will again. The church has failed me, it will again. Our government has let me down, it will again. Things around me have gone the wrong way, they will again. But GOD has never let me down, that's why my choice always goes back to him.

People used to frustrate me. One day I made a choice. They don't anymore. Simple choice. I used to get annoyed. I don't (as much) anymore. Simple choice. I used to get angry. Still do. But I choose not to stay there. Little bit harder choice.

You cannot control what happens to you or around you. All you can do is choose how YOU will react to it.

What kind of person do you choose to be? How do you choose to treat others? What kind of an example do you choose to set? What kind of father, mother, son, daughter, husband, or wife do you choose to be?

It's your choice.

Please choose wisely. If you have any questions, ask God.

Oh, one last thing...where do you CHOOSE to spend eternity?

It's your choice.


  1. As always, a wonderful blog. Thank you for sharing. By the way, I'm right there with ya on the choosing not to stay in the dark places, but go on knowing that God is in control, not me. Not always easy, but it's much better than the alternative...he,he!


  2. Now that is a post with a lot of thinkings in it! Rick it has been fun to watch as God molded you and I believe He has great plans for you. There are those who have been hurt by others to the point they need people like you who has experienced what they have to gently and compassionately knudge them out of their dark space. Blogs like this are an effective tool to begin that process.

  3. LIKE! I've been waiting for a recent one, thanks.