Recognizing choice

I couldn’t sleep. I found myself on my living room couch at 2:00 a.m. faced with the choice of watching either TMZ or infomercials. I had a choice. TMZ it was.

Their in-depth reporting that night included a brief clip of Michael Irvin, the former NFL wide receiver, who had recently appeared on the cover of the gay magazine OutIn the magazine article, Irvin talks about his love and support for his gay older brother. When the TMZ camera operators ambushed Irvin, he gave them an eloquent quote.  He told them that God doesn’t let individuals choose everything. We can’t choose our family, our hair colour, or the colour of our skin, but God does let us choose our companions. Irvin says that, if God lets each of us choose companions, who are we as humans to dictate who should be with whom?

Let me be clear, I do not think sexual orientation is a choice. I think it is one of those things gifted to us at birth, like our family and our hair colour, and we fumble through life one way or another working with what we’re given. However, I do think that Irvin’s observation can lead to some peace around the matter.

Whether or not you believe God, or a God, to be responsible for choice as Irvin does (maybe it’s just nature having its way with us?), the fact is that there are things we can choose and things we can’t. Irvin hits on a key point: when we try to tell other people who they should love, we are trying to control something beyond our control. We are trying to make a choice we have not been given the authority to make. The result is stress, frustration and conflict. None of us like it when others try to impose their will on us, right? If we can recognize what is ours to dictate and what is not, peace and serenity follow.

Participants in 12-step programs find solace in this concept every time they repeat The Serenity Prayer.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Irvin’s observation encourages people to recognize when choice is theirs, when it’s not, and  to let go of choices that are not theirs to make. May serenity follow.

The next time I can’t sleep, I might choose to watch TMZ again. After all, I don’t really need a Slap Chop.


About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on August 9, 2011, in Inspiration, quote, religion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Zinormous Canvas

Make a Choice Adventourous Stranger

We Chase Success

*Let's Not Just Chase It, Let's Capture It Forever*

Water for Camels

Encouragement and Development for Social Workers and Those with a Mission of Helping Others


Think हटK , Be AWESOME !!!


A peek into Megha's mind

Life via Window

Canvas of stories, fiction and feelings.

Nothing Gilded, Nothing Gained-Author Adrienne Morris

Books, Art and the Writing Life at Middlemay Farm

spirit sage

through the eyes of a profound beholder

The Millennial Pastor

An iPhone Pastor for a Typewriter Church


Be A Warrior 🎯 And Get Out From The Misconceptions Of Your Life!!


awakening to the sacred feminine presence in our lives

Dr. Jen Gunter

Wielding the lasso of truth

and the words that echo..

a lot of words...

Hurry Up & Wait

Random thoughts and a collection of ideas, stories and photos

Alex on Faith

Growing in faith together!

Be Inspired

Journey from severe depression - Self healing - Acceptance - Learning - Growth - Connecting - Understanding - Being Unique


« me arrodillo por las noches ante tigres que no me dejarán ser - lo que fuiste no será otra vez - los tigres me han encontrado pero no me importa. »

%d bloggers like this: