Peggy Goodrich (column mug)ENE

Do you make wise choices? Think about it.

I have made a few poor choices in my lifetime. Some of them were doozies. However, at the time I made the decisions I thought they were the right things to do using the information I had at the time. Time taught me differently. With the help of friends, family, and my Lord’s forgiveness and guidance I have overcome them and risen above them. That does not mean that I still don’t make errors in judgment, but I try to look before I leap.

In our free world the power of choice is our greatest privilege, for it makes all the difference as to how we make use of this ability. In this connection, I am reminded of a beautiful poem by Robert Frost, from which these lines are lifted:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I ...

“I took the one less traveled by,

“And that has made all the difference.”

Once a choice is made, all the consequences have to be faced. The choice of a person’s work, the choice of one’s life partner, the choice of one’s business associates, or the choice of one’s friends, each choice carries a responsibility, that makes all the difference in an endless number of ways.

Every single day we are faced with choices, decisions that we must make, and then carry on the best we can. Before us are roads that we have never traveled. To choose the one less traveled bears the greater responsibility, but it offers more incentive, and stirs the imagination more. To all pioneers we owe a debt, rarely, if ever, paid.

Bold men and women prefer the difficult ways and means. It is to such that we owe all the glory and freedom we enjoy. No two roads can be traveled at once. A choice must be made ... and that choice followed to the end, unless another choice cancels it.

What we are is the result of our choices. They color our intelligence, make up the framework of our character, and give us the personality we own. Each individual is a veritable pattern of exhibited choices.

People face their responsibility for making decisions in different ways according to their temperament. Some are like jellyfish with no backbone, who go with the tide. How little respect we have for the human jellyfish. Others feel keenly the need of making choices, but are in a perpetual state of indecision. Some of the most unhappy people are those who have the type of mind that always regrets the decisions of the day before.

The amount of time and energy necessary to make the endless choices that face us every hour of the day can be greatly reduced if we have a clear and definite life purpose, with every act in harmony with this goal, and whether we are optimistic or pessimistic makes a difference too.

Have we made good choices in our life work? Do we feel hampered or handicapped in any way? If so, is it the work or our attitude toward our job? Am I selfish or unselfish in my choice every day?

We cannot know everything, so it is helpful to listen to wise, experienced people who make good choices. There is no way we can make all the mistakes ourselves, so we need to listen to the advice and cautions of enlightened, intelligent people we respect and admire.

When we come to a fork in the road ... take it. No, that is not right (ha). Make a decision which way to go, then don’t look back. Grandma always said to not look back except for inspiration.

Needless to say, I had a wise grandma. She should know because she made the trip into Indian Territory in a wagon train, where there was absolutely no turning back. They had to keep moving forward. They had made their decisions before they left Missouri to come farther west. They were never sorry, although times were difficult and they faced many, many hardships.

Grandma’s and Grandpa’s wonderful stories of survival are a constant inspiration to me. If they could endure and be successful, so can I. I try to make educated choices and pray for God’s guidance before I make final decisions. He knows what is around the corner. I don’t!

For every action, there is a reaction. It is easier to do than undo, so make wise choices.

I have loved teaching Life Lessons at Hillsdale Christian School. I love their concept of activities and educating. I respect their attitudes and rules of conduct. I love all the teachers and I absolutely adore those wonderful kids. However, my goal is not to be the oldest teacher listed in the Guinness Book of Records. I am not getting any younger. My health is not what it was once. I do not have the boundless energy to keep up with sixth-graders. So this past week I talked to our principal and told him I would not teach next year. It has been the joy of my life and I have enjoyed every second I have invested, but I just feel like the time has come to let someone else enjoy those delightful kids. My heart will always remain with Hillsdale Christian School and Hillsdale in general. My life has been changed forever. I will cherish those memories always.

I hope I will continue to make wise choices and not look back with regret. When we have fulfilled our part, there will be a feeling that we were divinely called to the task in which life had its highest Christian expression. “To each man is given a day and his work for the day; And once, and no more, he is given to travel that way. And woe if he flies from the task, what ever the odds; For the task is appointed to him in the scroll of our God.” (Part of a lovely poem by Edwin Markham.)

When I am too busy (or lazy) to cook much, I make goulash. Daddy always called it “spolligosh,” but I don’t know why. Maybe one of us kids called it that when we were real little. It is easy to make, Stan loves it, and it freezes well.

Goulash

1 pound hamburger

1½ onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 cup macaroni, cooked until almost done

2 cans tomato sauce

Season to taste (I like a little chili seasoning, salt and pepper)

Cook hamburger, onion and green pepper. Stir in cooked and drained macaroni, and tomato sauce. Season and it is ready to devour. Enjoy.

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.

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