It was the final round of the national spelling bee. They were down to the last two contestants.
One contestant was up to spell her word. The judges gave her a word that she knew. It was a word that she learned after her fellow contestant mocked her several months earlier. This means that she knew how to spell the word.
Yet, her mind went to a conversation she overheard. It was a conversation that made her believe that winning the contest meant more to her fellow contestant than it did to her.
So I'm sure you can guess what she did. Yep, she intentionally misspelled the word.
The other contestant was puzzled. He was sure she knew the word. After all, it was a word he challenged her with. Of course, she knew it.
When he stepped up for his opportunity to spell a word, he was given the same word that was just missed. When he got to the second to last letter of the word, he gave an incorrect letter.
That's right, he also made an intentional action of misspelling the word.
The ultimate result was that the two finalists became co-champions and both won first place in the national spelling bee.
If you don't recognize this story line, it is from Akeelah and the Bee.
It was such an impacting moment for me.
Both contestants had the opportunity to spell the word correctly to secure the win and the title of national champion.
However, they both recognized that 'just because you can, does not mean you should.'
There are many opportunities in life where were have options to choose from. We can go left or go right.
We have the ability to decide. And every choice we make can impact not only our today but also our tomorrow.
I'm reminded of the apple that we eaten in the garden. Adam and Eve had the physical ability to eat of the tree. However, their physical ability was not enough to grant them the permission to do so.
In other words, there was a difference between what they could do and what they should do. Just because they could eat the fruit does not mean they should have eaten the fruit.
Eating the fruit was an act of disobedience against what they were directed to do.
It came down to a choice.
They had the ability to choose and, most often, so do we.
We simply have to decide what matters the most to us and then to proceed accordingly.
Please keep in mind that our choices are not always about opposites. It is true that there are times when we are forced to weigh the bad against the good. Yet, there are also times when we are forced to choose the good against the best.
When we weigh our options carefully and responsibly, we are bound to not only do the things we could, but most importantly the things we should.
When is the last time you stopped to consider whether you should do something that you knew you could do?