Like a runaway train, life can get away from us and surge out of control. It sneaks up on us. At one moment, we’re all dressed up for the party, relaxed and unworried about taking a little nap. Then suddenly, everything changes: it’s time to go, we arrive late, or we’re locked out… for good! Show’s over.
While observing others and observing events in my own life, I've realised that lives don’t go sour overnight. They may appear to, and the final unravelling may be swift and terrifying, but the process takes time and thousands of tiny decisions, building one upon the other. And often we hardly notice where they’re leading and what they’re adding up to.
As we examine our consciences, we usually find no single matter of great seriousness, no murders, no child abuse, no major hates, no adulteries. And we think we’re home free. But what we really need to look at are the persistent patterns of our daily choices which cumulatively define who we are.
In the Watergate crisis, “Deep Throat” said to “follow the money” if we wanted to find the real culprits. In our lives, there’s a parallel: Follow the persistent patterns of your choices if you want to find out who you really are.
Here’s the bottom line: If you don’t want your life to surge out of control, track the patterns of your daily choices early and often. It's all a part of living consciously. These patterns and choices will tell you who you are and where you’re headed, and they’ll tell you when you have some course corrections to make. The patterns don’t lie, so watch them closely, with The Almighty at your side.
Now, if only I could take my own advice!