Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I often write about school choice and how marvelous it is to raise children in a day and age with a myriad of choices. And we've taken advantage of quite a few over the years. Our boys started out in public school, then I homeschooled them, then they went back into public school. And this week our oldest son, in the middle of 10th grade, will change schools yet again. He will attend a charter high school where he can take college courses at the same time. It is the right fit for him. And I'm grateful he has the opportunity to choose how to pursue his education at this stage, but it will be his third high school in 2 years! When you choose one thing it usually means you're NOT choosing something else. And it seems like loyalty lies like road kill on the side of the road.

But having so many choices isn't always a good thing. Some of us, because it is permissable, feel we're choosing the lesser of two evils at times. Sometimes not having a choice is preferable.

Feeling obligated is a bad thing and we steer clear of people and things that try to box us in or make us stay put. We are the A.D.D. generation, unable to attend to anything for too long. We lose interest and we move on.

And yet I am guilty as well. I believed that it was better to stay in one place, raise your children, pay off your house, host your grandchildren and then be buried in the same community. Although I didn't experience that growing up myself, I wanted it for my children. But we've moved 4 times and when the kids are grown plan on moving yet again. We like change. We like the adventure of experiencing something new.

Is that so wrong? It depends.

Maybe it's an issue of what we choose to change and what we don't. Some changes are forced on us. Lovers leave. Mothers die. Jobs disappear. Friends move. Children grow up. What are our choices then? Even if we didn't choose the situation, we choose our response to it. We choose.

My choices probably look nothing like your choices. And sometimes they turned out to be the wrong choices. But there are very few, if any, that I regret. They grew me up. They led me step by step to the life I live today.

Regret. . . the result of choosing not to act. The path not taken. The road not traveled. The love we let walk away. Were they the wrong choices? I think they were just the ones we regret.

God can bring good even out of our bad choices. He can turn our tears of mourning into tears of joy. But we have to choose to let Him. Or we can choose to hold tight to the regret that paralyzes us.

I regret moving my son while he was in high school. But I watch as God orchestrates his life in ways that we couldn't fathom before we moved. So I let the regret slip from my fingers like crumbled, dry leaves and choose to begin again.

I guess life would seem easier with less choices, but personally I'm glad to have the life I choose.