By: John D. Pepe
My father told me growing up, on more than one occasion, that “The choices we make dictate our lives.” How true that statement is. That little piece of wisdom has stuck with me my entire forty-six years of existence, helping guide my decisions, making me cognizant of the potential outcomes, both good and bad, for the paths that I choose. I think the advice my father gave to me, so long ago, has been especially true in the times when I have faced difficult circumstances.
So often we find ourselves at a crossroad, like Matthew Murdock. Thrown into situations beyond our control-like being afflicted with blindness and losing our father at a young age. Those unfortunate circumstances can cause us, like Matt, to grow angry. Our rage is thrown at others, including God, for yoking us with the misery that seems to plague our life in that moment. I have found myself, on more than one occasion, like the young Matt, screaming at the heavens, hating God and asking, “Why have you forsaken me. How, if you are a loving, merciful God can you allow such horrendous things to happen to people.”
At the end of this third season Matt Murdock helped me to understand, a little better, why God does what he does. He told the story of how Father Lantern had said to him when he came to them, blind and without a father, angry at God for allowing all the bad things to happen to him that, “God’s plan is like a beautiful tapestry and the tragedy of being human is that we only get to see it from the back-ragged threads and muddy colors-we only get a hint of the beauty that would be revealed if we could see the whole pattern on the other side.”
This soliloquy helped me realize that I don’t know God’s plan, and sometimes, although tragic, the situation that God places us in has a purpose. I know that when something tragic happens, or at least what I perceive as tragic, I am only seeing it as a tragedy because my view is limited.
We, as humans, only get to see the “ragged thread and muddy colors.” We don’t get a glimpse of the other side until we have traveled down the road, and when looking back, we see how we have benefited from our tragic situation. We are able to get a little glimpse of the beautiful tapestry of the other side-if we look closely. And if we look with a careful eye one can see how that painful experience made us better or strong.
The decisions, good or bad, whilst we battle through the tough times, determine the path that we walk. Sometimes for life.
Matt had gone tough times. There were tragedies he couldn’t control. But had those bad circumstances not befallen him the path to becoming Daredevil would never have been. Becoming a hero would never have been. The force for good that Matt turned out to be, wouldn’t have touched as many people had he ended up the Matt Murdock with sight. And his choice not to kill Kingpin, even though he believed at one point it was the best to be rid of the man, was the choice that obviated the destruction of Daredevil as we know him. For if he had taken Kingpin’s life, he would have cross a line he could never have come back from, changing himself irrevocably.
When bad circumstances coming knocking refuse to answer the door. Instead make good choices despite the pain that accompanies them.
Remember, you are only human, you can’t see the other side of the tapestry, at least not at that time. As my dad said to me, “The choices we make dictate our lives.” If you can remember that hopefully you will remain Daredevil.