Friday, May 8, 2015

You Choose

When I said to myself you know, as I survey this space, I think I need a bigger closet, I knew I had a problem.

It was a thought I quickly chided myself for, as my closet is big enough to house all my clothes, but for a split second, that first world entitlement showed up again. I see it in myself and I see in my my kids and I see it in the people around me. It's not a judgement; simply an observation. We are a society of nows and not waits, driven by that ubiquitous desire for more, not satisfied by what is, always striving for what is better. And if the truth were to be known, I am among the leaders of that pack, as I fill my eyes with visions of marble counter tops and Belgian linen bedding, Pinterest pinboards, Houzz ideabooks, and google images.

There is no end to the apps and websites and catalogs and stores that will fulfill any wish, any desire. Most of us have options. We go to the grocery and get to choose the type of apple, the type of meat, the brand of granola bar, and the type of cheese we will purchase. We go to the store and get to choose the type of coffee maker, the style of pants, and the color top we want. Marketers are fighting for our attention and brands are fighting for our loyalty.

And it's driving us to distraction.

This is probably not news to anyone. If you're anything like me, you are easily distracted by all the choices you get to pick from.

But I also wonder this: if it's driving us to distraction, is it driving us from God? Is the fact that we have so many options actually feeding the heavy blanket of insecurity that we are trying so hard to lift? Is distraction smothering our trust, our devotion, our reliance on our God?

I have always been a pretty gullible person. I guess I just innately trust those people around me, and so, as you can imagine, jokes are easily played on me. My mom used to rise up on her soap box, urging me to not be so trusting, and I know now she didn't mean "don't trust people"--although my cynical side totally says "do NOT trust people"--she only meant "please be more discerning, more wise". I get it. I pray the same thing for my kids. So you would think that someone who is as gullible as I am would also be pretty trusting of the God she has both grown up learning about and is growing to love. But when it comes to G-O-D, I have some pretty serious trust issues. As in, I don't.

I was mulling over this during confession last week. It was our last day at the women's retreat, and we were preparing ourselves to take communion. How can I take communion, I asked myself, if I don't even trust the one who made that sacrifice?

The baptist church I attended as a young six-year-old didn't just pass tasteless wafers around for communion. They passed around an actual bread basket. And when you are six and your tummy is growling because the 11:00 service goes on waaaaay too long, a bread basket is a good idea. I would pass that basket, looking longingly at the big pieces of bread, trying to grab at the biggest one while my grandma smacked my hand away. Needless to say, the next church we went to, with their small little square wafer-type non-tasty communion, was a big disappointment. To me, communion was either about being hungry or not being satisfied. It was never about a sacrifice, or being reminded of anything having to do with Jesus or God or rising from the dead or joy or how to live my life. Just bread and wine (and grape juice at my old church, no wine for the Southern Baptists, they don't believe in drinking alcohol, causing my parents to go from a nightly beer to complete teetotalers in one fell swoop).

I took communion last Sunday and veered to my left to pray with one of the many prayer warriors stationed around the room, placing my hands in hers and bowing my head, eyes closed. And in that moment, as her prayerful words were spoken over me, G-O-D became very alive in that room. I could not believe that her prayer over me would be about the very thing I was struggling with only moments before. Trust. When that word came out of her mouth, my eyes flew open and I wanted to jerk my hands away. All I could do is stare at her. Stop! I wanted to say. How did you know that?

I went back to my seat with her words floating in my head. Trust...boldness...fearlessness (pretty bold prayer for a girl who is still scared of the dark, scary movies and ghost stories).

I have, for some of my life, been so driven to distraction that boldness and fearlessness were adjectives that passed me by. Along with life. Because when life is passing you by, you are simply an observer, not an active participant. But along with choosing which gummy snack (or none at all, much to my children's chagrin) at the grocery store, we can make decisions for our lives as well.

We can choose to trust.
We can choose to be bold.
We can choose to be fearless.
We can choose to live the life we love.
We can choose God over everything else.
We can choose to enjoy the ride He takes us on.
We can choose to feed our insecurity with His love.

We can choose.

I'm moving on
At last I can see
Life has been patiently waiting for me
And I know
There's no guarantee 
But I'm not
There comes a time
In everyone's life
When all you can see are the years passing by
And I have made up my mind
That those days
{moving on, rascal flatts}

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