Friday, May 4, 2012

The Choice of Choice

One important ingredient of what it means to be human is our freedom and basic capacity to make decisions.  The range of options before us is vast, spanning from the trivial to the momentous, and this has been true since God created Adam and Eve, and placed them in the Garden of Eden.  Adam and Eve were called upon to make decisions from the start, as their first job was to name the wide assortment of creatures God had made.  This was no small responsibility, sorting and organizing for their creator, but it certainly wasn't the most important choice they had to work out.

Of course, we know about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the choice that the first humans eventually made, when tempted, to rebel against God.  We, every human who came before us, and every human who will come after us, are born into this rebellion.  In fact, we are predisposed to make that rebellious choice--it's rebellion not just on a genetic level, but on a heart level.  What this means is that in some ways, the freedom of choice we like to claim is illusory: though we might desire to follow God, we'll inevitably make mistakes, whether from a careless choice or calculated disobedience--such is the disastrous result of being born into Adam and Eve's rebellion.

My understanding has always been that God allowing Adam and Eve choice was essential to giving legitimacy to obedience and worship: ultimately, those acts would be hollow without the possibility of humans not worshipping.  Regardless of the exact theology behind this, here's where I'm at: I want to choose not having a choice.  I want God to transform my heart so deeply that rebellion ceases to be an option and that my only thought, waking and sleeping, working and relaxing, is to glorify His name.

Is this, perhaps, the eternity that we wait for?  Is this the new reality that Christ will build for us when He returns?  I've responded to Christ's call to follow Him and I know I am not the faithful follower that I should be... but I want to be.  I'm thankful for the ability to make decisions, but I want to use this decision-making power to fill my life with worship.  This passage from Titus is of tremendous comfort:

"At one time, we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.  We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:3-7

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