BY JOYCE PELLETIER
Vocabulary – it’s a list of words put together to describe another word. Simple as that. Nothing to be afraid of or to run away from.
I remember that in high school, my least favorite subjects were Vocabulary and English. I didn’t see any reason to give a definition to a word I’d never use or have ever heard of. Like polychromatic – now where did that come from? Just to pronounce it is a challenge. As I sit at my desk with Webster’s Seventh Collegiate Dictionary. This word is simply described as ‘showing a variety of a change of colors: Multicolored.’ I didn’t know this word existed. However, I love painting pictures, mixing colors and just observing the amazing colors of Fall. Consider the numbers of people who travel to Vermont every September and October just to see the leaves. They call them ‘leaf-peepers. They are having polychromatic experiences. Vocabulary 101, lesson learned.
Let’s look at a few simpler words. Decision is the first: a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration.
Simple enough, I’d say, but not always easy to follow through. A classic example is from 1 Peter 1:13-16.
Be Holy – "Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at His coming. As, obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written, 'Be Holy, because I am Holy.'”
At our service today, Denis spoke on words relating to reacting to different situations. It’s so easy to decide for the fun and easy stuff, but when it comes to challenging situations, i.e. on-going back pain that is constantly reminding you it’s there.
Having chronic pain can keep you on edge when trying to function normally in your home. Your limitations can cause you to come to the top of a cliff where there is no where else to go but back.
I find myself going through with those ‘as you age’ situations where you just can’t do what you used to do. It reminds me that I can’t do one hike like I did 20 years ago, let alone, during that summer I did four. I get into frustrating times where recognizing that I just can’t do it, so I complain a lot, then sometimes say things I don’t mean, yet I don’t stop to realize what’s going on.
Listening to Denis’ wisdom, I realized another word that I need to pay attention to. It is choice. It means an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. The choice between good and evil.
God gave me a free will. He gave Jesus a free will. So, He completely understands what I’m going through. In that free will, He allows me to make a choice in every situation. Learning to make the decision to choose to grin and bear it, instead of speaking it aloud in not so pleasant words, is up to me. When I choose to be selfish, I spiral downhill. When I choose to find a way to ease the pain, or just take a break, then it really goes a whole lot better. This is also showing me He’s allowed this for a reason. I just have to hang in there.
On our early Christian walk with Jesus, we made a Marriage Encounter, supported by the church we were going to. It was a weekend to teach couples to communicate better in all situations, good and bad, challenging and joyful. It was teaching us to make right choices for each other. It made a huge difference in our lives. We learned that “Love” is a decision and when we make the right decision the benefits have stayed alongside of us all these years. God showed us how to deal with the “Hard” things. When we made the choice to follow his plan, we knew He’d be with us all the way.
When we become Christians, Jesus celebrates with us. Yet, He doesn’t drop us off somewhere, then leave us there to suffer alone. The very presence of the Holy Spirit is our Guide. If He is living inside of us, we are better able to make right choices in all situations. There is no other way to go. This is what Holy means.
By The Way, one more thing I learned from Vocabulary and English, they are now my favorite things. I love to write and learning how to be a more effective writer. Who knew that words can open your whole life? Better still, God’s Word is the best way to find what you need.