Perhaps you have thought I forgot Casey when talking about how people handle grief differently. I really didn't. You see Matt and Irene were trying to run from the pain, hide from it, make believe it didn't exist. Casey is quite different. She wants to remember her brothers, even if she remembers some of the ugly things about them. It's no more right, in some ways, than trying to disregard that it ever happened, but it is one that is built upon love, and that turns out to be a key.
Being a teenager, however, Casey is dealing with more than just the loss of her brothers, she's becoming a young woman. This causes all kinds of problems. She finds her love for her brothers get sour at time, even blaming them, but she will never forget them. And while she's doing this newly released hormones start to affect her thinking. I could mention a couple, but it would really give too much away. You will find Casey to be very realistic, just as hostile as some teens are today, and doing things that seem irrational, even according to their own thinking. Such is the lot of many teens.
Parents, you can help yourselves a bit here. In Proverbs 22:6 it says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Christians quote this verse a lot, but I want you to know that this verse can be taken 2 ways. If you train up a child to be greedy or selfish, when they grow up they will be greedy and selfish. If you train them to be giving and loving, when they are older they will be giving and loving. Keep this in mind, and remember, there will probably be a period, which we call adolescence, when they will leave from the ways we have taught them. This is actually a good thing. They need to learn on their own that, if you have taught them the good ways of God, are really true. So cut them a little slack. Hold on to the verse and they will return. But be careful of what you are teaching them. Billy starts to become his father, Jerry became his father, and both of those were painful. They also did not depart from the ways they were trained. Get it? Neither does Casey, and neither does your child if you teach them the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Now the difference between choosing to forget and choosing to remember bring with them their own particular pain, because you can never truly forget, and if you choose to remember you can't pick what you want to remember and what you'd rather not remember. It's a hard road. Yet there is something that I mentioned before, another choice that I said I'd talk about today. You can choose life or death, not for those who have already died, but for yourselves. You can choose ways that eventually breathe life into your situation, or ways that bring to you death, some times literal death, sometimes eternal death. The choice is always yours. And remember, life is full of choices. I view it something like this, whenever I am faced with a choice I have 3 options, to go right, go left or stay there and think about it. The 3rd option isn't getting me anywhere, which leaves me with going right or left, so to speak. Take these 2 choices and label the sign over one DEATH and the sign over the other LIFE. Now, choose. Makes things easier doesn't it? And this is exactly what God teaches us. This is what it says in Deuteronomy 30:19, "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."
What does this have to do with Someone to Blame? What does it have to do with our lives? It has everything to do with both. In Someone to Blame people consciously make good and bad choices, some of those choices lead to death, others lead to life. Now, although some choices lead to death, there are still many other choices to be made and some of them can lead you back to life, if you make correct choices. Likewise if you choose life, you can make a wrong turn, a wrong choice and head down the path of death. They do it in this novel, they do it in the town where you live, you do it yourself. So here is the challenge, whenever you have to make a choice ask yourself, "Does this lead to death or to life?" When you can identify your choices this way, choose life so that you may live. Choose Jesus, who is our life, no matter how you feel, and He will be the Way, the Truth, and the Life for you. Follow Him. Choose Him. In every choice, choose Life.
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Saturday, September 11, 2010