While in college, I volunteered at a near-by juvenile prison. Sometimes a boy would explain his crime to me and the turning point for him would be a moment when he decided that he had two options: commit the crime or suffer some (to him) even worse fate. His lack of any concept of other options that were available to him was always striking to me. If only someone he trusted had been there to show him the whole world of options and possibilities that he had never thought of! Maybe he wouldn’t be talking to me in prison.
You may not be sitting in a jail cell, but so many people are prisoners in their own life because their concept of the options available to them is too narrow. They are stifled by a life they do not enjoy and they got there by making one choice after the other that seemed to be the lesser evil.
To learn to really enjoy our lives, we must start to expand the options we have to choose from. Instead of feeling forced into doing something that is sucking the life out of you or living a life of “quiet desperation”, be creative. Brainstorm, look for new role models, ask God to show you a new way. No, you may not be able to change your life on a dime and yes, there may be no guarantees that the path you choose will work the way you hope, but that’s the way life is. Choosing the “safe” path often takes us to places we don’t want to go anyways, so why not take some chances?
We live in a world with rules, but we also live in a world with endless variety. If the options you are looking at don’t lead to a fulfilling life, expand them!