by Radhanath Swami

We are our choices. And our choices are bound by constant laws that do not change according to our opinions or demands. Consider  Issac Newton’s Third Law of Motion which basically sates – “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. This law, which applies in its respective scientific area, has even greater application in relation to thoughts, speech and action.

Our thoughts, speech and actions have a great affect on the world around us. Because of our capacity to convert our thoughts into speech and action we have the power to determine the direction of our lives rather than simply act according to the dictations of the nature and impulses of our bodies. We can identify people in history who have brought about good fortune or terrible destruction, depending upon whether they used the power of choice with responsibility.

The difference between a parent and a child is power – physical power, intellectual power and discriminatory power. Because the parent has greater power, it is their responsibility to protect, care for and guide the child. Similarly, as human beings we have the power of free will, and with that power comes the responsibility for the speech and actions we choose.

Sometimes we will come across situations where we will be at ease. At other times there will be difficult situations where things will be beyond our control. In either case we have to accept the situation and make choices which will bring us closer to God.

Sometimes we will be honored and sometimes we will be criticized. It is said that for one who has been honored, dishonor is more painful than death. But for one who sees a divine reason behind it, dishonor can be more blissful than honor, because life is not about whether we are being honored or dishonored, life is about how we respond to each of those situations. There will be two paths always, and one will be easy – for its only reward is that it is easy.

We have many choices. We can choose forgiveness over revenge, joy over despair, or action over apathy. You can choose to curse God or thank God. Which is your choice? Every choice will have an end result. It is the summation of these choices that will determine the quality of your life.

So at every moment we have a choice; an opportunity to spend that moment wisely in the service of the Lord. Such God conscious moments are an eternal investment in our lives.