It’s strange how one act can shift the course of a life. Sometimes for good. Sometimes for bad. I guess we’ve all experienced this at some point. The job offer that moved us away, the missed flight that led to a friendship, the simple conversation that planted a seed.
You know the phrase, “I never dreamed _____ would have happened to me”? (You can feel in the blank). I heard someone use that phrase this past week, and he put something very sad in the blank. He never dreamed his life would be so broken.
Like a drug addict never sets out to ruin her life and die alone.
And that happily married husband never intends to cheat on his wife and break up his family,
and the teenager doesn’t think a few minutes looking at porn will skew his perception of reality and lead to an inability to maintain healthy relationships.
No one ever plans to ruin their life.
This can also work for the good things too.
(Although this might only be true for those of us who have trouble believing in ourselves and living with confidence.)
I know several writing friends who have been surprised by their success despite the fact they poured years into their book. I’ve heard teenagers being amazed they did well on a test even though they had been studying for days. And I’ve even seen someone act like their ability to make the team must have been a fluke ignoring their hard work and discipline.
But neither of these sides of the coin— the sad brokenness where some find themselves or the triumph others experience are the results of one single act. Perhaps the job offer, new friend, and conversation is where something started, but it could also have been where something ended.
There are a thousand steps along the journey from that first “life-changing” event to someone ending up in rehab or landing the perfect job. It’s a slow fade. And although the slowness may vary, it’s still a series of choices that lead to a result.
The drug addict and the A+ student are no different in that they both made choices that led to their result. You know what this means? This means that YOU get to choose. YOU get to decide. And maybe you think, “Oh, I can never change,” or “I can’t do that,” but those things are only the lies we tell ourselves so we don’t have to do the work to live the lives we really want to live.
Casting Crowns has a song called “Slow Fade” that paints a picture of how we can slowly be carried away to a life we never intended to live. It’s also a slow fade to get to the life we do intend to live. It’s a fade with purpose, though.
Good things take time.
Have hope. All things are possible for him who believes!
And be on your guard, your choices matter.