Choose Life- Running from The Chairman

9 May

This is not about abortion or politics. (insert sigh of relief here.)
This is about taking responsibility for my own actions, beyond that, my own feelings and thoughts. (ugh, even better.)

These are some of the most painful lessons, but every human being has to learn them during their time on this earth, and always  in the hardest possible way: experience.

There are no short-cuts.

I cannot read about these things or even listen to others stories. I must go through it.

No one can tell me the sky is darkest just before the dawn, I have to see it.

People can talk about the side-splitting pain that happens right before the birth of something new, something exquisitely beautiful, but until I go there I can’t fathom it.

It’s easier to be swept along by a flood, to be the victim, always, to allow things to hold us back. It’s popular even. It’s how our culture runs.

“This is what was done to me… now give me a pill for it.”

Sometimes, it’s really easy to do that in the name of “being spiritual.”

Because, I don’t determine my own life, because God is in control….. right?

This is an age-old debate, and I am sick of it being presented as if it was black and white. It’s a tricky balance, and our mortal minds can’t comprehend the things outside time and eternity.

Somehow, we are in the this awkward dance of our choices and God’s.

Like most truths, it is a paradox, it is multidimensional and it’s only in our human need to tear everything apart and analyze that we lose the beauty drenching this confusing mess.

I will say this: to believe “God is in control” does not mean to live like our choices don’t matter.

It doesn’t  mean sitting and waiting for some heavenly blueprints to unfold before me.

I can tell you right now: my life is what I make of it.
I  can choose death
or life.

Not just in extreme “life or death” scenarios.

It’s how I take one step closer to true life or let myself play with the things that side with death.

I am talking about the tiny things, the seemingly minuscule moments that add up to make the sum of my day, and ultimately my life.

Every moment I have a chance to chose the way I respond to situations- with my fickle, harrowing emotions
or to pick truth that transcends anything I feel.

(Which is a miracle in itself because I feel an awful lot. )

I watched The Adjustment Bureau recently. I saw it as an intensely spiritual film that was possibly meant to be a theological critique of sorts.

In the film, people’s day to day decisions were often controlled by these beings whose sole purpose was to make sure
the universe fitted into “the plan.” They got their orders from the one who creates these “flawless” arrangments- The Chairman.

This Chairman was obviously the god figure and was distant and cold, simply controlling creation from his platform above the rest of the earth.

Sadly, this is often humanities view of God.

You couldn’t help but cheer the heroes as they sought to run from The Chairman, escape and avoid the plan- break out of the system and choose something less scripted and more risky- love.

I used to believe in a chairman-god. I used to be paranoid about “The plan.” If I didn’t follow it, not only would I would miss out on this short life, but the fate of the world was at stake, after all I am WORLD CHANGER!!!!

(I wonder how many stomach ulcers and how much paranoia is created in following The Chairman. I wonder how many dreams are squelched in the name of religion.)

The problem, is that the entire concept is based around fear and control.

And love is not.

If this is “relationship and not religion” as we like to say, then just like any relationship, there is an element of risk.

Love is a risk.

We really don’t know how this is going to turn up.

We can only trust that “God being in control” means that somehow he touches and rearranges things in a way that reflects His goodness, His love, His grace.

He makes ugly things beautiful, dirty things clean, beauty out of ashes, adventure out of our own stupidity.

Choosing life means making day to day decisions based on all these things:
We get to choose forgiveness, radical grace, redemption. We get to see the beauty in any story.

We don’t have to be a victim, sit and wait for God or others to hand us life on a platter.

We can risk, jump into life fully.

And there is freedom, and there is grace. Even when I choose death, because I will, God is there turning things inside-out and upside-down, always.

And so,  on this plain old Monday I hope that you and I can will decide to walk in the realm of life and freedom, instead of control.

I hope that we believe how good or bad today is is up to us, because the reality is

we are surrounded by both ugliness and beauty,

and we will always find what we are looking for.

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3 Responses to “Choose Life- Running from The Chairman”

  1. steve May 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    I loved this! So true and so wonderfully written. I am glad “I chose” to read it.

  2. Kristin (mere's sister) May 9, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    Whew! I thought you were going to announce that you were pregnant. 🙂

  3. brooke May 10, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    @Kristen. Bahahaha. I didn’t catch that at first but I can totally see how you could read into that.

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