Sometimes the obvious just isn’t. At times our conclusions, as logical, systematic, and intuitive as they might be, are wrong. Even experience, wisdom, and gray hairs cannot prevent reaching the wrong thought destination. In situations where one side is trying to get the other to do something, sales, manipulation, and voting come to mind, the conclusion one reaches is usually what others want you to believe, not what is.
I often struggle to remember this bit of wisdom. I find myself wrestling odds that are not there. I fight demons instead of simply walking away. I let others manipulate my freedom of choice. Ultimately things always come down to a choice I can and must make. I usually draw on recent events, current conclusions, and short term-memories. In short I let others shape and draw my conclusions.
I’m not the first. You can look at history and see how individuals attempted to manipulate others. “Just then the Assyrian king received an intelligence report on King Tirhakah of Ethiopia: ‘He is on his way to make war on you.’ On hearing that, he sent messengers to Hezekiah with instructions to deliver this message: ‘Don't let your God, on whom you so naively lean, deceive you, promising that Jerusalem won't fall to the king of Assyria. Use your head! Look around at what the kings of Assyria have done all over the world—one country after another devastated! And do you think you're going to get off?’” (Isaiah 37.9-11)
You and I have alternatives available to us today. First, we can watch, listen, and experience while preserving our freedom to choose the next step. The key in doing this lies in knowing the foundation of our worth and self-esteem (both defined by God). Second, we can take decisions without fear of the unknown (God assures our future). Third, we can focus on the moment at hand, simply being present and available in this moment. It is in this moment that life turns. It is in this moment when we flow in life’s river. Our calling is to walk.
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