Making life’s choices!
The Bible frequently offers values in black and white, even though life is lived in colour. The either/or option is a good way to teach us what effect our life choices make. However complicated the background to the civil unrest in England is, there we see clearly the difference between choosing to act selfishly and choosing to act lovingly. Smashing, stealing, even killing, come from choosing solely for oneself. Caring, defending, forgiving, having compassion, working together as a community are the result of loving others. Neither response shown was a spur of the moment decision but rather was the culmination of choices made earlier in life.
As parents and guardians we can learn from this situation in England and consider what values we are modelling to our children. They note when we are courteous, or not; forgiving, or not; courageous, or not. But we need to do more than just model; we need to actively teach them in practical ways the values of caring for others.
Helping around the house with regular chores is one way of doing this. I noticed neighbours involving their young daughter in the painting of her room. Oh, it would have been easier for an adult to do it alone but, working with others, look what she is learning: sharing, patience, resilience when work gets hard. Later in life, where she is faced with a choice, it will be her choice, but her family will have given her a good education in making choices that give life.
Loving God, Father, Son and Spirit, you are a community of love and we are made in your image. We come to a full and rich life caring for each other. Teach us to make wise choices that we may seek the good of each other in loving service. We ask this in Jesus’ name, confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb