I am 26 years old, and believe it or not, I am still trying to find my place and where I fit in on this tiny blue planet. It’s not simple, and there is a big learning curve. Year after year as I grow older I do feel the weight of all of the responsibilities that life entails. As a result, I have learned that life is all about making decisions. Your decisions make you who you are both in the present and in the future. That being understood, not every decision we make is a decision we *want* to make. Life not only entails things that we want to do, but also doing things that we do not want to do. You need both to have the proper balance.
Doing What You Don't Want to Do
The cool thing about life is that if we take the time to notice, many of us have the opportunity to be influenced by the people around us. I am thankful for my parents who taught me discipline as well as gave me my own share of craziness that makes me…me. I have also been blessed with a fantastic mother in law and whether she knew she was doing it or not, gave me the best advice that impacted the way I make decisions forever.
As I said, life means sometimes doing things that you don’t want to do. Yet, where most of us struggle is not in that understanding, but finding the strength to follow through with those difficult decisions. How do you do it? Follow the advice my mother in law gave to me.
When It Matters Most
Decisions we don’t want to do can include small things like doing the dishes, cleaning your room, taking out the trash, but can also include bigger things like, talking to a financial advisor, marital counseling, even personal counseling to dig out the deep issues of why someone is the way they are. Many of us have a variety of things we do not like to do in life and for a variety of reasons. Everyone is different. When I was beginning personal counseling, my mother in law told me that it would not be easy, but that the days that actually matter are the days that you make the effort to go even when you don’t to go.
Think about it. It’s easy to do something you are passionate about, but its more rewarding when you do something you’ve actually put some effort into. On the days that I did not feel like going to counseling, were the days that I learned the most about myself and it later benefited those around me because those lessons were also the ones that stuck to my memory the most.
This small piece of advice impacted my entire life and is always in the back of my mind whenever I did not want to do something that I knew held inherent value. Honestly, as a pastor, there are some days that I do not want to face. I would rather stay in bed and catch up on sleep. Yet, I hear this piece of advice in the back of my mind and I believe it to be God’s way of telling me that if you put in the effort at this moment, I have something for you. I am grateful to my mother in law for teaching me this because it has impacted me in ways that I am still learning, but has made me who I am today. I encourage you to follow this advice as well because you won’t regret it.
Daniel Escalante is attending the Andrews University Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan.