Do I Have To or Do I Want To?

Updated: Nov 9


There’s an entirely different mental mindset behind the above two statements. Somewhere along the line I adopted the second framework to operate from even though I knew it would be the narrower, more difficult road. But equally so, I knew the rewards would be that much more gratifying.

Of course I had no idea on how to manufacture a want-to from a must, especially from a bucket of worms. I knew it went much deeper than wishful thinking and parroting positive affirmations. But how?

When choice becomes a must it’s lost its attractiveness. Tasks become miserable, resentful chores. And who wants to do miserable undertakings? Getting choice back is a big part of the equation, but only a part. More so, I believe the real question is in value. Where does my value come from?

My value comes from God. Knowing Him. Being connected to Him. Abiding in Him and Him in me. Of course pride and ego want to race in and let me know all the places my real value comes from. Possessions, positions, bank accounts, etc. All the outer places. That may be true but it isn’t true.

Lasting worth can only come from inside, from above. When we nurture that seed of divine in us, we nurture our intrinsic worth, a value that’s not dependent on things or outside forces so that’s where I need to get to work.

When I learn about God, I get a stronger sense of who I am. I don’t know how that works, but it does. And it is to our great advantage to learn to recognize Him, His touch, His ways because when we do our anxiety, our must-have, our fretful worries are diminished because we’re allowing God in.

Being bound and determined to make something happen is the opposite of letting things happen. Frantically hunting something down is much different that walking through the mall on an entirely different errand and spotting that coveted item in a store window. But I alone have to put the action of developing that recognition and restraint, replace the self-talk of who really is in control. I need to be willing to let go of my hard headedness to allow Him to reign in my will.

When I am attentive to His methods and start experiencing His fruit, His peace, His ease, I cannot help but improve the want-to factor because it feels so good, so natural, so uncomplicated. Experience it enough of it and I can’t help but want more. The more God nature I have in me the happier I am and the more the must-factor of doing it my way loses its grip.

That’s when the have to’s develop into the want to’s and choice returns, making all the difference in the world. Between happy and sad. Discontent and content. Lack into plenty.

So when the gale winds blow and the outside things get bowled over, I’m left standing strong because I chose the better framework to operate from.

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