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Captain of my Soul

Do you remember the last big decision you had to make? For me, if I have several choices it seems I can make better choices. I don't like feeling trapped. Choices can play an important role in the life of a caregiver. On one hand, it can be difficult making choices on behalf of another person. It's complicated when they cannot voice their opinion. And sometimes we can feel like we don't have choices in our own lives. But we do.

When I first became a caregiver, life as I had known it was ripped away. I felt trapped. I'd been preparing to go to Africa, was loving living in Chicago, working three jobs only to find myself in a small apartment back in Oklahoma. The aloneness ate at my soul. Not only did I feel trapped I also felt like my power of choice had been taken away.

A movie sparked a memory of the poem, Captain of my Soul and got me to thinking. I realized I did still have choices, even in my situation. I can choose for my soul. I know we've talked a lot here about how it's our soul that God protects. Changing my perspective was key to changing my attitude and my outlook on life even in difficult circumstances.

I think one thing I enjoy so much about the psalms is David's candor. He never denies or ignores the problem. It's in the conflicts we see him reaching for God with more determination. That's a choice. As I was reading in Psalm 119 this morning, a couple of verses stuck out to me. The first one that made me stop and think was verse 143. It says Trouble and anguish have come upon me, yet Your commandments are my delight. He didn't act like everything was going great - he faced the situation he was in and chose to delight in the Word. We can do that too.

Another one that stood out was verse 147. he said I rise before dawn and cry for help, I wait for Your words.  Then he goes on to say in the following verse that he anticipates the night watches so he can meditate on His word. Who likes to do that? The night watches are most difficult. But David decided to look forward to them so he could be uninterrupted in his meditations on the word.

No matter what life throws at us - or throws us in to - we always have choices. We can choose to run to His word, or away from it. We can choose to seek Him in the midst of the storm, or avoid Him. What choices are you making for your soul today? Paul said he had learned to be content in any circumstance. He said he knew how to get along in prosperity and poverty because his greatest need, like David's was to be with joined with God.

Today, I'm going to think about the choices I can make. I will spend some time thinking about what it means to be the captain of my soul. I will choose to embrace Him and the Word today. I'll let His words be the delight of my soul. I choose to cling to Him - and enjoy His desire to be near. And I'll choose to trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

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