The evening of the 24th our family attended my daughter’s choir concert. We had a great time, as always, cheering on the third of our daughters to be a part of the performing tradition in Neosho High School’s choral department.
MyraGale is a freshman, it’s her first experience with show choir, and she is loving every minute.
The talent of our students is outstanding and I must say the instructors really go above and beyond their job descriptions in caring for our students. They take a huge group of sometimes unruly teenagers and make them sound like angels.
They spend quite a bit of their personal time ensuring these kids have opportunities for competitions, contests and sometimes these lead to scholarships. I have always appreciated this.
Tonight’s concert ended with all the students circling the audience and singing a song with a very special message. I asked MyraGale about it when we got home and did a bit of research.
Titled, “I Choose Love,” the song was written by Mark A. Miller and Lindy Thompson in response to the tragic events that occurred at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, North Carolina, in 2015. It is a testament to the power of forgiveness and peace.
The words are as follows:
“In the midst of pain I choose love.
In the midst of pain, sorrow falling all around, I choose love.
In the midst of war I choose peace. In the midst of war, hate and anger keeping score, I will seek the good once more, I choose peace.
When my world falls down, I will rise. When my world falls down, explanations can’t be found, I will climb to holy ground, I will rise.
In the midst of pain I choose love. In the midst of pain, sorrow falling down like rain, Wait the sun again, I choose love.”
I hope that these words touch your heart as they did mine. I often tell my children and other youth that I work with that I truly believe it will be their generation to bring about peace in their lifetime.
I believe it, even with all the obstacles seemingly in our way. This world is ready, humans are ready… and we are capable. God has already provided all we need to make this happen and I believe that it begins with each individual making that personal choice to choose love.
How can one choose love?
I realize there are many situations that choosing to forgive and turn the other cheek seems impossible, but it can be done. Jesus told us that we have but one job to do and that is to love others as God loves us.
This means that we must understand people and where they are coming from. You have heard the phrase “hurt people, hurt people.” That is a true statement.
Sometimes people make it impossible to love them. It may not be your job to “fix” them but you may have a small part to play in showing them kindness.
I have been writing a lot lately about praying for the ones no one else is praying for, praying for the unlovable, praying for those that hurt others because their hearts are shattered.
I believe this is the first step to making a shift, a step toward loving people as God loves us.
All the things that happen around us and to us are just lessons we must learn. Sometimes we are the teacher and sometimes we are the student. Sometimes the lessons hurt our feelings, make us look at issues we aren’t wanting to face or don’t believe we should have to deal with.
The big picture is that we always grow from these lessons, if we are willing to learn from them. If we are not learning from them, we are only entering a cycle of repeating painful situations until we do.
With each negative situation I have learned to ask myself, “What is the lesson here? Is it for me or someone else?”
The more conscious I am of these questions, the quicker I can move forward.
And the easier it is to choose love, even in a negative situation.
(Rhonda Sexton is an author and inspirational speaker. She lives in Neosho with her husband and children. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-389-1222.)