Hobson’s Choice

How do you see your life? Are you satisfied with the life you’ve chosen or is it a case of life having chosen you? Perhaps you’ve never had the luxury of asking yourself this question because responsibilities swept you away before you had a chance to realise what was happening. The reality is that our background, culture and environment can often predetermine the life we will lead and few have the opportunity to break free from circumstances which hamper aspirations. What we need is a sponsor – someone with a vision, who believes in us, has confidence in our abilities and encourages us to forge ahead, regardless of obstacles. What we need is God. Few realise that God imbued us with unlimited potential before we were born and longs to see us fulfil the promise which was woven into our DNA.

I was reminded of this recently, when I watched an old family favourite – Hobson’s Choice. The story centres on a timid shoemaker, Will Mossop, who unobtrusively toils away in the basement of Henry Hobson’s shop, undervalued and terrified of his bullying employer. Hobson meanwhile, reigns tyrannically over his employees and household, deeming his eldest daughter (Maggie) too old to marry, but conceding she has the business acumen to run his shop profitably. As the story develops, it becomes clear Maggie is determined to escape the spinsterhood her father has bequeathed her and shrewdly proposes marriage to an unsuspecting Mossop, having recognised his genius workmanship. Initially horrified, Mossop refuses, but is eventually persuaded when he realises Maggie has great faith in his abilities and plans to open a shop, relying on his craftsmanship. It’s clear this is the first time anyone has had confidence in Mossop and suddenly he sees a bright future ahead and they marry. Under Maggie’s guidance, a meek and frightened Mossop is transformed into a confident and successful businessman.

I was struck by the symbolism in the story and realised that at many levels, we too are Mossop and God is Maggie, magnified. We can become downtrodden and acquiesce to our circumstances, no matter how intolerable, because we think there’s no alternative. It takes strength, foresight and courage to make changes and that’s why we need God.

God meant for us to be nothing less than magnificent, irrespective of our walk in life, and only He can see the possibilities which lie in wait, because He created us. We need inspiration, encouragement and hope, if we’re to unlock the rich potential which lies deep within us and with God’s help, we can envisage a brighter future.

Pause for a moment and reflect on your untapped potential and promise. Is there a path you wish you’d pursued but lacked the confidence or self-belief? Perhaps you too needed a Maggie to lead the way, but no one showed up? Well, God is here and it’s not too late. Step forward and let Him show you the promise He sees in you and let the transformation begin.

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