The Role of Choice

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“The kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad.” Matthew 13:47-48

I’ve often used this passage to illustrate the role of choice, especially as it pertains to attitudes we’ve assumed concerning the various experiences we encounter in life. If we take a very broad view of the role of choice, we’ll ask how far it extends. Did you choose to incarnate at the time you did, and did you choose the family into which you were born?

Consider this example. Let’s say you want to travel to a place, and you decide to fly. Does this mean you also choose that obnoxious passenger seated next to you? The consciousness purist will say, “We attract the people and circumstances from which our soul can learn the most. There are no accidents.

If the flight isn’t fully booked, you can request another seat. If one such person happens to be a family member, you’ll be seated next to them for many years. You can spend your life thinking a difficult person has something to teach you, but if you cannot grasp what you’re supposed to learn, there’s a good chance you’ll carry the burden of believing your soul isn’t evolved enough, and you’ll probably keep attracting similar personalities until you finally get it.

Let’s take a step back. Did you attract the obnoxious passenger because they had something to teach your soul, or did you encounter them simply because you made the decision to fly? These are two completely different approaches. Will you allow this person to ruin your entire trip, or will you let them go the moment you step off the plane?

I like to think we’re making this earthly trip simply because we wanted to. If we get caught up in the drama and influence of our fellow passengers, it can be easy to forget why we set out on this journey. You have surely had the experience of getting lost or confused in an airport. What has this to do with your purpose for flying? Your choice to fly will put you in airports and seat you next to people with whom the only thing you share in common is the fact that you’re on the same plane. Is our earthly journey really that much different?

Rather than spend another moment wondering what we failed to learn from a challenging relationship, let’s turn our attention back to the possibilities that drew us to this earthly experience. When we boarded the “plane” that brought us here, we did it for a reason. We had something in mind. Are we pursuing this higher interest, or are we dragging ourselves down trying to reconcile unresolved issues with another passenger? We’re off the plane with feet planted firmly in our desired destination. Let us choose to make the most of it.

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