One day when my dog was still a young puppy, I had come into the house to catch it barking at and attacking its own image in a mirror, taking it for another dog. It charged and got so agitated until I had to carry it away from the mirror to prevent it from causing some damage in the house. When I discussed the incident with my vet sometime later, she explained to me that animals are territorial in nature, and this makes them always perceive other animals or see persons outside their homes as intruders, who’ve come to take over their territory. And so in other to prevent such occurrence, and prove their dominance, they often attack, in defence.
So it is with many of us today. We go through life fighting it. We expect a battle at every turn, and that is how it turns out. We expect to have enemies, and we certainly do. We expect to have one difficulty or the other, and that is exactly the way it happens. When the rains or winter come, we expect to fall sick, or feel miserable, and so we do. And that is just the way it is, and the way it’s going to be for most of us because we fail to recognise and use the power in us. – “The power to choose”. We can choose to have excellent relationships, we can choose to make everyday a great day in our lives, we can choose to live healthy lives and not be afraid of the cold, just the same way we choose what colour of clothes to wear, what brand of car to buy, what part of town to live, what TV channel to watch, who to date or marry.
You see our whole lives are run by our choices. At this moment, whether your life is going forward or backward is your choice. Yet too often when we make bad choices, we blame God, as if it were His fault. When, most times we never even consult God to guide us on the choices we make. Even when He tries to warn us through our instincts – that inner voice that calmly tells us what we are about to do isn’t right, we ignore Him. God never imposes His will on us. He guides us and lets us choose. He only comes in when invited. Other times, we blame people – our parents, siblings, friends, partners, etc when things go wrong. Especially here in Africa we hardly accept faults and responsibility, even when it is clear that it’s our fault. When things go wrong people often ask “Who” instead of “what” or “why” our fingers are always pointing to the externals never at us.
“If we choose to eat too much that we make ourselves sick, who is to blame? If we choose to drive our cars so fast that we cannot control them, who is to blame? If we choose to allow ourselves to have nasty, disagreeable personalities, who is to blame? If we try to become “he richest man in the cemetery” and make ourselves invalid, who is to blame? If we failed to learn how to live, whom shall we blame?” Do we blame God? Folks we cannot blame God, the scriptures tell us God loves us – “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” “God doesn’t hurt anybody we hurt ourselves through the choices we make.”