OK, I have to admit I am a nerd (I think that I already admitted it in the past, but it never hurts to re-up). One of my favorite TV shows is NCIS. Why? Because of the science of criminal investigation.
I was watching it the other night and the narrator said this: Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one (a quote from a philosopher Martin Heidegger). The truth of this quote struck me...........life has many paths - some of which are chosen for me (my birth date, my place of birth, who my are parents are, etc.), some of which I choose.
It is the last part that is the most challenging - who I ultimately will become is shaped by the paths that I choose. If I continually choose to respond angrily when life throws a hard circumstance at me, I will become an angry person. If I choose to look at people and care for them instead of looking at how they can serve me, I will become a person with a servants heart.
The quote is stating that to a large part, we are captains of our fate; we can choose who we become. This is not necessarily true in all areas of life, but it surely is true from a character perspective; the true essence of who we are and really what we ultimately want to be defined as by those around us (e.g. I would rather be defined as "kind and poor" vs. "rich and mean").
Our ability to be captain of our fates is true in our eternal destiny too. We have to choose to follow God; we have to choose to understand our need for a Savior and choose to accept Him as Lord of our life everyday. (Note that this is written from a free will perspective, even though I know that God is the one that calls and ordains; I have not, nor will I ever figure out the mechanics of the mystery between our free will and the sovereignty of God!!!!)
The letter that Paul wrote to the Philippians indicates that we are to "choose joy"; even in the midst of trying circumstances. The love of the scriptures is not an emotion, but a cognitive choice to put other's needs on an equal plane with ours. Joshua instructed the nation of Israel to "choose you today who you are going to serve".
Choices, choices, choices - choose those things today that will bring you closer to God and more in line with obedience to Him. Choose who you will become today by choosing to do what is right and holy. Chose today what will ultimately shape your character into one that is Godly and beautiful.