We’re surrounded by a culture that values the ‘freedom of choice.’ But, it used to be that there weren’t so many choices.
Once upon a time:
- People lived on the land on which they were born. In fact, they often were born and died in the same house.
- Folks did not have to choose which college to attend. In fact, most sons either followed in the trade of their fathers or were apprenticed to a father’s neighbor or friend.
- Families did not call one another from the grocery store to ask what their loved ones would like to eat. In fact, they mostly lived off of their own land and ate what they raised.
- Husbands and wives expected that marriage would lead to babies. In fact, they often welcomed baby after baby to their families because they understood that children are gifts from God, and gifts to society.
- Men were men, and women were women. You were assigned a gender at birth based on your physical appearance and you lived your life as such.
Now, I acknowledge that life “back then” wasn’t perfect. However, fewer choices did lead to a sort of simplicity.
Contrast with modern times:
- People can move away from home to anywhere for any reason. In fact, many people choose obtain citizenship from another country.
- Folks can choose from among hundreds of courses of study or professions. In fact, it is a profession in itself to help others choose which careers to pursue.
- Families stare at dozens of brand names for the same kind of food in supermarkets. In fact, many things found in stores nowadays wouldn’t have been considered food in the past.
- The terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ have been replaced with non-gender terms such as “partner”; children are seen as choice only with the proper set of circumstances (at best) , or burdens to be avoided at all costs (at worst).
- Men can choose to pose as women (or have gender-reassignment surgery), and women as men. In fact, our government supports such thinking with mandates for schools to welcome any gender into any bathroom.
Sometimes we are so busy making choices about our lives and focusing on what we want to achieve that we forget God is already at work serving those in our midst, through us. We don’t have to prepare for the future in just the right way in order to somehow be able to serve God. There are so many choices around us, we sometimes get exhausted from the sheer number of daily, weekly, and life-long decisions we continually make. Thank God that He blesses others through our vocations now, today!
Also, thank Him that we don’t have to choose Him. In fact, we never could have chosen Him in our state of sinfulness. From eternity He chose us, to wash and cleanse us in the blood of His Son Jesus, and gave us faith, so that we can perform the good work He has planned for us. Take a deep breath! Not everything is up to you! God’s got this!
“Lord, 'tis not that I did choose Thee;
That, I know, could never be,
For this heart would still refuse Thee
Had Thy grace not chosen me.
Thou hast from the sin that stained me
Washed and cleansed and set me free
And unto this end ordained me,
That I ever live to Thee.” (ELH 222:1)
Mrs. Marie K. MacPherson, vice president of Into Your Hands LLC, lives in Mankato, Minnesota, with her husband Ryan and their children, whom she homeschools. She is editor of Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies from Moms of Four or More (2016).
TAGS: Worldview, Christianity