Multiple Choice

I went to buy dish soap.  How did these shoes, this lamp, this coffee maker and these bath towels get in my shopping cart?

It was a simple decision.  Pick out a yellow soap, pay for it and leave.  And then, well, there were all of those other decisions asking for me to make them.  I was a willing party, and as I walked the aisles of the red “target” logo’d store, I was assaulted by options.  Pretty little strappy sandals, or pleather flip flops…  lucite column lamp or nickel urn lamp…  pods or ground coffee maker…   Egyptian cotton or hotel quality…  The Sirens sang to me under the fluorescent lights and I chose and I chose and I chose. I’m on a roll, send me for cereal, I’ll come back with a tractor and lip gloss.

It’s actually kind of overwhelming when you start collecting the number of choices facing us in a day, and honestly, I don’t do very well some days.  Some of the choices are benign, like what to wear or what coffee cup to drink from.  But others are core shaping, like will I be kind within a person’s hearing and when they can’t hear me, in front of their eyes or behind their back? Will I choose to spoil the precious “yet-ness” of a day with choleric recitations of the me-song? Or, will I allow a fruit of the Spirit to catch the moment before I’ve spoiled it?  The sheer volume of choices produces a ratchet snapping brittleness of quick-fired yes/no decisions and leaves shards of what-might-have-beens behind me all day.

I don’t like that.  I rather prefer when I start the day choosing to lay myself face down on the floor, surrendering in a silently repeated, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner”.  It sets the mood.  It lays the groundwork for grace to walk on.  It frames the certain but unnamed choices I will meet with the possibility of Godliness and kingdom building. 

In that wake, I will choose to wait for the sun to pink the clouds around 6:15, and for appropriate times to open my mouth and offer thoughtful words to the people I spend time with.  I’ll raise my sails, and then decide to wait for the wind God might send to direct them.  I’ll choose to live in this day, not missing a moment because I chose poorly to focus on the what-ifs of tomorrow.  I will choose to be intentional and form precise decisions regarding who I will be, what fruit I will bear, what effect and legacy my imprint will leave on the soft underside of this day.

It will be a busy day.  And the hardest decision I will make will be not to choose, when I’m flustered and uncertain, but instead to patiently wait for the peace the Spirit will deliver wisdom in.  

Lots of mornings Jim looks at me over the cup of coffee he hands me and simply says, “Have you made your decision yet?”  It’s our shorthand for “don’t let today rush all over you before you’ve chosen to believe it belongs to God”.  It’s a pretty good question.  It makes me just a teensy bit cranky that he’s so smart.  But I sip the coffee, and I work on deciding.