(A post I began while in the USA)
Opening the cupboard, there they are, boxes of wonderful cereal! I usually want to eat two breakfasts because I can’t fit in all the goodness in one meal. Bagels, cream cheese, yogurt parfaits, easy and made for me. I bought them at the store, full of aisles of so many choices it makes my head spin. Literally, first time in a store after returning to the US, the Walgreens started to spin around me, dizziness overtook me and I had to sit down. Dramatic, yes, a real response, also yes.
We laugh that we can make things just. the. way. we. like. it. And it’s AWESOME. “Okay, I’ll have the #10, but with extra onions, no mayo and can I get that on focaccia?” We manage our temperature within the degree of where we are the most comfortable. And it’s so cozy.
Choice is amazing but let us not forget, also a luxury. Please hear me out, I condemn nothing about having choices, but I am convicted to recognize it as privilege. My neighbors in Awi country don’t get to make decisions about whether they homeschool, send kids to public or private, charter, etc, etc. Their choice is made like this, “Do I have the money to buy my child a uniform, notebook and pencil? Is there a school within walking distance and can I spare them on the farm that they may go to school?” If so, then, yes, they go to school. At least the boys.
There are no mama wars over vaccines because the choice for vaccines looks like this, “Are vaccines being offered in town? I will use every available resource to get my kids there because I have seen other’s children die with these diseases”.
Or the choice we make as Americans, “Hmm, what should I wear, is this a dressy, casual event?” or “Should we do Mexican, Indian or Thai for dinner?” “Ran out of time for dinner, take out or fast food?” “Where should we go for date night?” “What about vacation?”
Women in Syria make the choice, “Should I put myself and kids into an entirely untrustworthy boat with people who may hurt us and we may drown before we are allowed to get off the boat or stay here and die?”
Everyday, our lives are full of choices and decisions, some big, others small. And we can get into wars over these luxuries. Should we use essential oils or prescribed medicines? Should we eat paleo? Should I expose my child to X, Y and Z? Again, none of these items are a waste of time to think about but I notice the temptation to make these things my Gospel.
At times, my personal choices have become my Gospel. The subject I can’t talk about enough and at times, it can cause me to even look at others making different choices in a condescending way.
When we are at a park, what good news do we share? How peppermint oil changed my life or how Jesus, the Son of God did? Can I remember to recognize my choice as luxury and only let the Gospel of the Bible be my obsession?
While in the USA, I had only one store onset breakdown (if I don’t count my dizzy spell upon first setting foot in a Walgreens) and it was standing in a Bible aisle in a large Christian book store. The variety was staggering and then I saw the “Duck Dynasty Bible”. I was overcome by the choice available for Americans to learn and study in whatever way suits us best and how many times with unending resources and choices, we squander them. Meanwhile, the majority world is hungry, aching for truth in their language.
As Westerners, by birthright alone, we have so many choices, I pray I can use my choices, my privileges as a chance to follow Jesus’ example instead of becoming entitled, uptight and opinionated.