Choice takes us from an out-of-control state, where we’re taken on many indistinguishable flights of fancy, and places us in control—the charity of the reasonable, logical mind. Of which each of us has access, this mind is the universe of cautiously forward-thinking contemplation. It weighs all things, accepting all things, and is able to, by choice, overcome all things:
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad belief in the preponderance of good and a willing effort always to cooperate with the good, that it may prevail.”
~Helen Keller (1880–1968)
Choosing To Agree To See The World As It Is
The world, as Helen Keller points out, is much more overcoming by nature then we’ll readily admit. We only have to look at technological progress, great construction projects, the advances in the sciences and medicine, and the Industrial Revolution. The world has its fair share of suffering, but it compensates marvellously. Indeed, of all the heroes there are, it’s the overcomers who are lauded more than anyone.
When we get on board with this sort of worldview, reconciling the stoic nature of life, we come to expect a similar sort of stoicism from ourselves. And this is not a hard expectation, just a realistic one in the light of a world that has already been overcome by the Light of the World, Jesus of Nazareth (John 16:33).
Then, again, we’ve all had times when such ease seemed impossible. Life doesn’t insist that we overcome it. Again, that’s our choice. We can side with the good if we want to. The love of God forces nothing.
Siding With The Good Is Siding With The Pure
There’s a choice for holiness, as a worldview, in the words of Helen Keller. Seeing good and cooperating with the good are choices we can all make. People either complain a lot, getting angry easily, or they find reason to be thankful. Neither worldview is more visible than the other; both can be seen. What do we choose to see?
If we believe God is in control of the world, including our moral universe, despite our relative suffering, we have the inevitable cause for hope. Such hope, by faith, does not disappoint!
If we’re on the lookout for the good, for the holy, for the pure, we will no doubt see it as it often presents. This doesn’t mean we don’t see injustice when it occurs, but instead we take whatever optimistic initiative we can. Nothing can beat siding with the good, even in the presence of the despicable bad.
By choice we have power. We can note the good as easily as we recognise evil. Siding with the good is power for change. Siding with the good doesn’t ignore evil, but instead can transform it. Siding with the good is the overcoming life. By choice we overcome.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.