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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Power of Discernment

Our imagination is sometimes our greatest blessing, and yet it can also be a curse.  The ability to see the possibilities of the future allows us to change how we act today, but we have a hard time harnessing the power to do so.  At times, the immediate future has a greater impact on what we do right now that we fail to look at life in the distant future.  The present has the most impact on what happens, and the near future is becomes the present so rapidly that because of instant gratification, we 'lose' ourselves and make decisions that affect us in the long run.

In the end, we only do what we want, and our choices will impact both our immediate and distant future, yet our problem lies not in understanding what they will cause, but how important it is to us.  Is it important for us to prioritize what is significant or not, whether our current situation is more important than the future beyond today, and our ability to discern becomes valuable.

For example, should we be dehydrated and the only drink available is a bottle of Mt. Dew, it would be illogical for us to not drink that because the drink isn't healthy and will affect my future running negatively because we are in need of something to replenish our reserves right now.  At the same time, if we were given the choice to drink water or coke and we decide to choose coke, yet we claim to be training hard towards becoming a healthy individual, it may taste good, but it takes us a step back from our goal.

Or perhaps our problem is with our social life.  Helping someone may mean you take a step back from their life because in continuing to help, you do them a disservice, stunting their growth.  It may mean pain, but through that pain, growth can occur... while at a totally different moment, helping someone may mean doing everything you can for them and serving them to raise them up because that is what is needed now.

You see, without discernment, we cannot make the best decisions and will not be able to help those that need help... or help ourselves perhaps because we are imbalanced.  At times, we will be too distant focused that we forget about the things we can do now to help the situation right now.... yet at another time, we will be too focused on our here and now that we end up making the wrong decisions for the future.

What we do right now will impact our future, both near and far, but it shouldn't affect who we are.  Should we remain focused on who we are, our identity guides us to make the correct decisions.  Our knowledge and understanding of the situation should give us discernment... and when we live beyond ourselves and understand the bigger picture of life... we can truly live.

So run to finish what you've started.  If the immediate future will impact your finish, make sure you make decisions that are wise that can change that future, but also keep in mind that the distant future is also important too, so that as you continue the race of life, you can finish what you started and live life to its fullest.

“Let discernment be your trustee, and mistakes your teacher.” 
- T. F. Hodge