Brothers Free Will and Will Power
Once upon a time people used to think that the planet Earth was at the centre of our solar system and that all the planets and stars, including the Sun, revolved around the Earth.
It took a very clever and very brave astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, to say that this idea was wrong. He said that the Earth turned around the Sun. Many people laughed at him, and it took nearly 200 years for them to believe him. People wanted to believe that the God-made Earth on which they lived was the centre of the universe.
Sometimes we are a bit like those people who wanted at all costs to believe that the Earth was at the centre of their solar system. We want to believe that we are the centre of what happens around us. Often our lives revolve around one person: Me!
This desire that we have to place ourselves at the centre of our lives comes from a funny little arrangement that we have deep inside us. Twins live there: Free Will and Will Power. Free Will is a real charmer and Will Power is rather quiet.
Free Will spends his time running around looking for things to do to make him happy. Free Will loves all good things and doesn't like the words "Have to". Anything he has to do, he puts off; anything that requires a bit of effort is too much trouble; he doesn't like the word "chores" or that long word "responsibility"; putting himself out to help others is out of the question - let others worry about themselves. But, even though Free Will spends all his time trying to make himself happy, he is often quite miserable. He goes from feeling like he is on top of the world to feeling that the world is on top of him.
His twin brother, Will Power, was quite the same as Free Will when he was very little. Soon though, he found out that making other people happy made him feel good too. He discovered ways of doing this and kept practicing until he knew just how he could make others happy.
Will Power had many friends but he also liked to spend some time alone each day. While he sat quietly thinking of how best do what he had to do or how to help a friend, he could often hear a little voice talking to him from deep inside. It felt like it came from the region of his heart and he soon made friends with that voice.
One day, going home from school, Will Power and Free Will saw an old man sitting on a park bench. Throughout the winter, the man sat there and each time Will looked at him, he smiled a crinkly kind of smile. Will decided to go and say "hello". Free Will said that he would rather go home than waste his time speaking to an old man.
The old man said that he had been waiting to meet Will but that he had wanted Will to take the first step. The moment the old man spoke, Will recognized the voice - it was the same voice as the small voice he often heard from somewhere inside him. The old man said that his job was to help people be truly happy with a happiness that lasts and lasts, but that few people bothered to sit and listen to him. Most young people preferred to play games and watch TV, while most older people were too busy making money and worrying about things.
The old man said that we are all born like Free Will. "God gives us Free Will because he wants us to decide what we will do with it. But soon enough everyone ties their Free Will to someone or something and so loses it. Some people give it to material things - they are only happy when they are getting things and the more they have the better. Others give their Free Will to people around them - these people trample other's Will into the ground because what is important to them is their Will. The best thing we can do is to choose to give our Free Will to God who tells us that we are everything to Him, who loves us very much and who only wants what is best for us; with God our Free Will is safe and nothing and no-one can enslave us. But there is a trick to this. You have to catch your Free Will and package it neatly for God".
"The trick is to change Free Will into Will Power, like you", the old man said. "Now Will Power is quite a different fellow from Free Will".
Will Power sat and listened to the old man with great interest. Was he really so different from his brother? The old man said: "The recipe for unhappiness is to put yourself in the middle of things as Free Will does. Then these things run around you, they swirl like a tornado, they lift you off your feet and then they drop you with a hard bump."
"The way to happiness is to take yourself out of the middle so that you aren't caught up in the churning winds of the earth and to put God in the centre. Make God your Sun. Let Him light your life and shed light on what you should do and which road you should follow".
"In this way, you not only unknot your life and free yourself, but you allow someone who really cares for YOU and who knows the way to show it to you".
Will Power listened carefully to the old man and resolved to keep God at the centre of his life. Slowly he learned to deal joyfully with all that he had to do and manage all the up-hills and down-hills along his way; he became strong and very fit inside. Through practice, he learned to do the will of God. He learned that every person and every situation is different but God is always there to give you a hand.
When he needed advice on how to deal with things he knew where to get it. He turned to God in quiet prayer and asked to see things as they really were and understand everything better.
Let us also ask God to help us so that we can put all our skills and talents at work for Him who loves us. This is the action that God seeks for our happiness. This is true freedom.
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