Posts Tagged ‘choose’

Perched

 

 

This is a letter to myself. A letter to myself that I am sharing with you in hopes that it might help you as it is slowly helping me.

 

Today I was at my wits end. Recently I have been struggling with intense overcast feelings to the extent of not wanting to leave my bed and feeling as one without hope. I blamed these feelings that I felt on many circumstances that I was drowning in. External pressures, external loss and disappointment. I was a victim of my circumstances. And I couldn’t overcome it. As a Type A personality I do very well at burying my feelings and emotions under work. I schedule my days to leave no time to think, reflect… or to breakdown. My mind is always moving, always achieving. But I couldn’t shake the cloud that had been following me. It was persistent, vigilant, shaking its hand at every ray of sunshine that tried to lighten my way.

 

Then something happened that took me from sitting under a cloud, to sitting under a cloud, as it began to downpour. With no coat or umbrella, I felt like shaking my hands at God. Was I not low enough? How well was I handling the cloud, that made you decide now was the time to bring the rain!

 

During this pity party, which was hosted and attended by me and myself alone, I came to the realization that my perception of the intensity of my circumstances stemmed from one issue. I tried to quiet all of the external voices for one second and the only voice left was my own. And I was screaming one thing. “God why have you discarded me! You have left me!”

 

The only reason my circumstances were drowning me was because I no longer believed that I had a lifeguard watching over me, ready to dive in and buoy me up. I felt that God was absent, uncaring, and un-invested. I felt like I was fighting a battle myself when I should have been letting God fight for me. But how could I sit back and let God fight for me if I didn’t believe He was on my side? Or even if He was on my side maybe He was unfeeling. He didn’t have anything to lose in this game! When I am doubling-over in pain that’s just me hurting, me alone. Why should I let him direct me if I have to face the aftermath by myself? When Job had sores on his body (Job 2:7) and his breath was putrid. God was unaffected!

 

I shocked myself with my thoughts. I pride myself on being pretty well read biblically. I could have quoted to you: Isaiah 49:15, which says “Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.” Or Lamentations 3:32, “Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.”

 

But the problem was the Bible is just a book, unless you believe in the power of the words there in. In my pain I reached out to someone, which in and of itself is incredibly unlike me. But I needed someone to remind me of those words. But not just the word, the power behind those words. I needed someone to tell me those words and hear in their voice that they believed that which they were saying to be the truth. Like a match to a candle I was reminded of what I had long sought.

 

Romans 8: 38-39; “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

I wish I could tell you I am equally as persuaded as Paul was when he was writing this verse; after facing beatings and imprisonment. I am not there yet, partly because I haven’t been tested on that level. I don’t want to be to you like Peter who swore twice He would not deny our Lord and Savior, only to deny him thrice (Luke 22:54-62). But I will tell you that though I still remain perched under my cloud, the rain has slowed and when I reach out beside me I recognize that I am no longer alone.

 

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Make a choice

Freedom is the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. It is the absence of coercion or constraint in choice or action.

 

What if you made a choice, and it resulted in no action?

choice-a-or-b2

Assume you’re a kid. And you’re in, I don’t know, fourth grade. Your mom says she’s gonna be packing you a lunch to take to school everyday. She then goes on to suggest that she can make you either a PB&J or a turkey burger. Excited at the prospect of choice, you tell your mom that today you want a PB&J, but tomorrow you’re gonna need a turkey burger. You get to school, lunchtime rolls around, and you open your lunchbox, pleasantly satisfied that your peanut butter and jelly sandwich is there just as you requested. The next day you open up your lunch box expecting to see a turkey burger. But your 4th grade forehead wrinkles in consternation, because before you yet again is a PB&J. Frustrated, but hungry, you eat your PB&J , but determine to get to the bottom of this gross mistake. Later that day you get home and you put on your best pout as you confront your mom as to why you didn’t get the turkey burger as per your request. She smiles in understanding of your situation and asks you what you want for tomorrow. Pleased that you seem to have easily straightened things out you ask for, guess what(?), a turkey burger. But the next day, when lunch time rolls around, you open your lunch box with tears rolling down your face in disappointment, cause hey, it’s another PB&J.

 

My point?

 

Is there any significance of having freedom to choose, if our choice is never reflected in any correlated action?

 

I mean why give the kid a choice of turkey burger or PB&J, if no matter what he chooses, he’s always getting a PB&J?

 

Is that freedom? No. In fact it’s worse than entering knowingly into a dictatorship, because from the outset, you were under the impression that it was a democracy.

 

“In freedom, most people find sin.”

 

Do you know what we expect from God? We expect, no, we demand freedom. “Because true love is not forced.” Right? But at the same time we expect that no bad things will ever happen. At least not to us.

 

We expect to make the wrong choices and for everything to turn out okay. Why? Because God is good. But for us to choose wrongly and still not have to face the consequences of our actions, or even to have others choose wrongly and not have it affect us, God would need to take away our freedom. He would need to make it impossible for our choice to result in any actual action.

 

The sin, degradation, and depravity that we see in the world often leads one type of person to wail “There is no God,” and if there is a God, then “He simply isn’t good.”

 

However, another type of person might also, more accurately I would argue, wail ‘How lowly, how depraved is the sinner’s state.’ Would that we had chosen more wisely or had more compassion.

 

Prison_175143c

 

 

“Sin is like a jail cell. The door is open, except its so nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any need to leave.” But you can leave. You can get up, leave, and enter into the light.

 

Thankfully we do not have a God like the writer Jarod Kintz telling us, “I want to protect innocent people from sin by locking them in cages, where the evil can’t get to them.” Instead God holds out the PB&J. While Satan has the turkey burger. It’s an all you can eat buffet. But you still have to make a choice.

 

 

freedom

 

(…let the record show that there is no implied correlation between Satan and turkey burgers…)