I just finished reading “Tathea” by Anne Perry. It is a book that I read several years ago, but I felt like I wanted to read it again. It is set as a fantasy, science fiction type book, but it is really a metaphor for the war between God and Satan, good versus evil. It is not necessarily religious, but directs you along those lines. It is set against Satan’s plan that man would have no trials, no sin, and no pain. All souls would return to him with none lost. Jesus then gave his Plan of Salvation which was that only through trials would we grow beyond the spiritual infancy that we were born into. Only through sin could we learn repentance and forgiveness. Only through pain would we recognize joy and truly grow in God’s image. The Plan presented by Jesus won and Satan left heaven intent on destroying all those that fought for choice. The reason for this book report is that, according to the author’s intent, it makes you think about choices. Especially about motive and whether we do good for good or reward. It may sound trivial and irrelevant why we choose good. It may seem like you are looking too deeply into something if the result is the same anyway. I believe there is importance in why we do things as much as what we do. When the reward is clear or the choice is easy and defined, we will almost always choose good. Do we always choose good when it is easier to choose, not even bad, but less? Do we sell our own growth short when we choose the path of least resistance? It is to accept the trials, not as punishment or damnation, but as opportunity. They are opportunities to choose light and grow in wisdom and experience. To allow tough times to stagnate you and push you down does not move you forward. You will still have to move forward, in time. It is your decision how long that takes. I hope you will take your lumps in life with the knowledge that these will not define you, but how you respond to them will. There is no question of whether you will get knocked down in life. You will. Will you get back up? Will you recognize the joy of stepping out of the darkness and into the light? Will you allow wisdom gained to be a hope and a source to others who seek your counsel because of your strength, example, and resilience? This doesn’t only apply to our choices, but those around us, as well. In order to become the person that we are destined to become, we must allow others to choose, even if their choice is not what we would do. We can’t be so tied to ideals that we direct others to our choices. We have to allow each person the freedom to choose in all things, even if we believe with all of our heart that our path is the correct one. To choose for someone, or deny information to make our way more appealing stunts their growth. It denies them the ability to take a step up or down their own ladder. In time, it denies them the will and desire to shape their own life. To truly love someone is to share with them the knowledge, but let them choose whether to pick up the tools and use them or not. Your choices will define you. Don’t ever fear making the right choices, no matter how hard. They will always leave you on solid ground. I know you and I trust in you. I will always love you.