Click for audio: The Choice Dynamic
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad” (Matthew 13:47-48).
Not long ago I gave a talk suggesting that we think of our consciousness as the sum of our values rather than the sum of our beliefs. If you think of the net in the above parable as the totality of your consciousness and the fish as representing your beliefs, you can see that the choice of which fish to keep and which to throw away is based on a set of values. If you’re running a restaurant, you’ll choose one kind of fish. If you are running a pet store, you’ll choose another.
The primary determiner of our choices is the self-image we hold. How we see ourselves provides a major influence over how we think, feel and act in the various situations life presents. If our tendency is to feel overwhelmed, then we may need to look at ways in which we are defeating our spiritual resources. Rather than hanging on to these bad fish beliefs and thoughts that swim into our consciousness, we make a conscious effort to throw them away, deny or release them. We turn our attention to God as our source and we affirm guidance, new power, and inspiration as the good fish we wish to keep.
Jesus reminds us that where our treasure is, there will our heart be also (Matthew 6:21). We may not think of a debilitating self-image as a treasure, but we need to understand that we are under no obligation to maintain it, to toss it into our vessel of keepers. Yet, for some reason we do. We place enough value on it to reapply it and its spontaneous train of thinking to situations that arise and emotionally overpower us.
If you are now in a situation where you feel helpless, begin to release the view of yourself as something less than this challenge. Affirm the power and wisdom of God is now working through you to guide and direct you to a successful resolution. Consciously place your values on your limitless spiritual identity and let go of everything that does not support it.