Uh ... help?
We’re spoilt brats – did you know that? Spoilt for choice, spoilt with freedom, spoilt with opportunity, spoilt with luxury, spoilt with entertainment, spoilt with technology, spoilt, spoilt … becomes a sickening word, doesn’t it! Sticks to the tongue and leaves a horrible taste behind.
But it’s true – look at us. You wake up in the morning; you have a choice of breakfasts. You go to work; you have a choice of routes. You get to work and you have choices. You come home, you choose your dinner, then choose to watch TV or not, then choose which channel, then choose to stay up or not. On the weekend you choose your recreation. Occasionally you might choose to go to church, or give some charity. It’s endless. We have a choice of cars to purchase, restaurants to go to, and jobs to take, investments to make.
Even more importantly you choose your ethics, your morality. And on the basis of that you make your daily decisions; to help a beggar or not, to emigrate or not.
Choosing (seems to) give us power!
Suddenly, when you choose you feel you are master of the situation. We feel, “YES, ok, I am the authority”.
The USA is currently embroiled in a choice between McCain and Obama –People are angry, voicing strong feelings in an increasingly polarized society. Do they have power in their votes – manipulated by media, adverts, and loud opinions from “important” people, and by their own desires and yearnings of this materialistic life?
And even here in South Africa, our own ANC party is now faced with difficult choices. What is their basis of choice? Power, anger, ambition? Whichever, they’re choosing to retreat into acerbic rhetoric. But next year you and I will have to choose between these people who supposedly represent and serve us! What will it be? The ANC, DA, ID, the yet-to-be-named-splinter ANC, and who know what else. How will you choose then?
You choose, moment by moment, small choices and big choices, trivializing big issues (what’s it matter if I choose to get drunk) while blowing out of all proportion little choices (oh, the angst of what clothes to wear in the morning!).
I suggest the reality is that we’re blinded by our options. In the face of all the multiplicity of choice, we, in arrogance and pride, say “I know the way”, and we feel empowered. Little do we realize what our choice is mostly based on – our emotions, desires, and preferences.
True choice needs humility, and that is found standing next to the Cross. There shadow and light are separated and we can see the distinction. There we learn the words of Jesus: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” (Jn 15:16)
Choose to be chosen!